The Health Service Journal has revealed that the government has changed the way it is counting the number of covid-19 tests carried out in a bid to hit its target of 100,000 tests per day by the end of April.
According to the report,previously, a test would be counted once the sample had been processed in laboratories. But this definition has been changed in the last few days, a senior source told the journal.
The Department of Health and Social Care is now including tests that have been posted or delivered to people’s homes in its figures. This means tests which are sent to people are counted before the recipient has provided and returned their sample to a laboratory.
It says that up to 50,000 of the tests that will be reported as having taken place on 30 April will actually represent the mailing or the agreeing to mail a home testing kit.
In the last seven days (23-30 April) the number of tests reported by the government rose from 23,560 to 81,611.
The report adds that 27,000 home tests were posted to people yesterday as part of pillar two work. They will form part of today’s testing figures which are yet to be published.
HSJ’s source said: “The view is that is unsustainable. It was just a massive one-day mission on the part of Amazon and the Royal Mail”.