A PCR test is no longer required for people without Covid symptoms to verify a positive lateral flow.
This is due to high coronavirus prevalence in the area and accurate rapid testing, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
Many Omicron patients with positive lateral flow test results have had difficulty booking a follow up PCR.
Although the UK can perform more than 800,000.000 lab tests per day, it was closer to reaching its limits in December.
The total number of 622,948PCR test were conducted on December 23rd. Government figures showed that the number had risen to 630,768, as per government records.
Demand grew more during the first week in 2022 with 698.502 PCR test results on January 6 and 613.496 on Sunday 9, respectively.
This change is expected to improve accessibility to PCR tests in the future for patients with symptoms as well for health care, transport, and other critical workers that require regular testing.
Every Monday began the daily testing of 100,000 people in critical industries like transport, food processing and immigration.
Although the number of coronavirus-related cases reported in the UK was 218,724 at its peak last Tuesday, it fell to 142,224 on Monday.
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The UKHSA announced Wednesday’s temporary halt to follow-up PCR testing. It stated that lateral flows are more than 80% effective in “finding people with highest viral loads and who are most infectious”.
The report also indicated that for every 10,000 tests of lateral flow, less than 3 false positives are probable.
The previous requirement was suspended in January 2021 during high levels of virus prevalence.
Individuals who have symptoms but test positive for lateral flows should be isolated for 7 days.
Quarantine can be ended if two negative lateral flows test results are received within 24 hours on the days 6 and 7.
The same changes have been implemented in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. However, they do not apply for people with symptoms. The patient will still have to undergo a followup PCR test.
According to health officials, it is important for people who are symptomatic to still register on the government site a positive flow test. In this way case numbers will be accurate and contacts can be traced.
Some exceptions are allowed to this new rule.
Follow-up PCR will be requested of all those who are eligible for the new NHS Covid treatments.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister has indicated that the government is “looking at the science” regarding the possibility of reducing the time required to isolate people who are positive for HIV from seven days up to five.
Together with the UKHSA (which is leading this issue’s work), and the Cabinet Office-based Covid taskforce (based in Cabinet Office), the UKHSA has clarified that the US self-isolation period is now five days. This is shorter than what is required in the UK.
It previously claimed that isolation periods were the same for both countries.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reduced the time for isolation to just five days during December.
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