Coronavirus: hundreds of positive Covid-19 tests added


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Hundreds of coronavirus cases have now been added to official Wales Public Health (PHW) figures.

The results of more than 70,000 tests performed by non-NHS laboratories have been posted separately from the main statistics published daily to date.

But these are now added, showing 1049 cases.

PHW stated that it “has been working for some time to present as complete a picture as possible” of the Covid-19 data.

The latest figures show 20 new cases – seven treated by PHW laboratories and 13 by non-NHS commercial laboratories.

PHW admitted that integrating the new data alongside its own notification system had been complex.

But he said he had “made good progress” and since Saturday had been able to introduce additional information into his daily news.

“As a result, we are reporting today an increase in our total number of cases and our daily total of new cases,” said a spokesperson.

“This is to be expected when we include the results of increased testing capacity, with more people being encouraged to get tested. The data was previously displayed separately on our dashboard. ”

He said it was likely that he would overestimate the individual cases at this point and that work was “underway to remove duplicate entries as quickly as possible”.

Professor Gabriel Scally said that any problem “interferes with the proper functioning of what should be a very smooth operation”

The four British nations used commercial tests to increase capacity.

Home kits and tests performed in some test centers in Wales are processed in a network of Lighthouse diagnostic laboratories in England, while those carried out in hospitals and other test centers are processed by NHS Wales.

Before the release of the new data, the epidemiologist, Professor Gabriel Scally, member of the independent SAGE group, warned that not collecting all the positive cases in the data would constitute an “additional handicap” for the elimination of the coronavirus. in Wales.

“Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should really aim to reduce the number of cases to zero and eliminate internal transmission,” he said.

“This is the way to go – and to do that, you need good tests and good data.

“Any problem with information that is not compatible or not available, or that concerns a number of tests rather than the number of individuals – all of this interferes with the proper functioning of what should be a very fluid operation . “

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Driving test zones have been set up in Wales to reduce the spread of Covid-19

Although he admitted that the use of commercial laboratories meant that more tests could be performed, he said that the system was not “fit for use” because it took too long to send tests to English laboratories, which resulted in delays in contact tracing.

“The overall system should be restructured. It should be locally based and operate locally and succeed locally, ”he said.

The PHW dashboard shows more than 155,500 tests by its laboratories, but there have also been 70,186 tests in non-NHS Wales laboratories.

These brought 13 positive tests, bringing the total from this source to 1049.

PHW epidemiologist Dr. Chris Williams said positive data from commercial laboratories was also used in the Test, Trace, Protect system, adding that using non-Welsh laboratories meant that anyone could pass a test.

“The tests were offered to everyone in the UK on request,” said Dr Williams.

“We all agreed with that because it’s a good idea to offer people tests.

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At the start of the pandemic, people only got tested for coronavirus if they go to the hospital

“It was via the UK portal – what’s called the Lighthouse Labs. This meant that people could sign up for a test to be mailed to them or arrange to have it done by some other means.

“The general population has seized the opportunity of these tests, and some of our boards of health have used this ability to perform some of their local tests. ”

The Welsh government has stated that it recognizes “the importance of quick turnaround times”.

“To this end, and to help protect our essential workers, including healthcare and healthcare workers, we use Welsh laboratories and the UK’s flagship laboratory system. ”

Scotland has incorporated Lighthouse Labs trade data into its own initiatives since June 15, while Northern Ireland has integrated the data on June 25.

On July 2, Public Health England increased the public’s availability of positive case data to include community tests after criticizing its figures that do not reflect the actual number of new cases.

Meanwhile, Premier Mark Drakeford said the decline in the number of positive tests was due to the fact that there were fewer coronaviruses but acknowledged that faster results were important.

“We want to make sure the tests come back faster and we are starting to see movement in that direction,” he said.

“Where things are urgent, as was the case in North Wales during the two epidemics we experienced, we were able to ensure that the vast majority of tests were back within 24 hours. “


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