National News

Faulty testing kits adds to problems

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A batch of 50,000 coronavirus testing kits bought by the government are set to go to waste as examination and testing of the equipment has shown they are not accurate enough. Under clinical guidelines they need to have a precision rate of 80% but most of them are closer to 30%, although around 9,000 are usable.  These were purchased from a Chinese company through an intermediary with links to the country and it was hoped would help with buying the overall amount of kits needed in the face of the crisis. Many of those being tested are front line medical staff and without near conclusive data on whether they have the virus, sending them back to work could have fatal consequence.

Latest statistics across Spain once again made bleak reading as 769 new deaths were confirmed, the highest in a single day and bringing the total of fatalities to 4,854. There was also a sharp rise in people now confirmed as infected, up just under 8,000 to 64,059. Globally, the US overtook China as having registered the most people with Covid-19 with 85,500 positive cases, something President Trump attributes to a better testing system despite continued criticism of his handling of the crisis. In the UK, on a day on which people expressed their gratitude for front line staff by applauding nationwide in the same way that Spain has been doing, the death toll surpassed 100 people in a 24 hour period for the first time, going from 475 to 578.

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