Tuesday 29 November 2022 03:03 PM Blunder at COVID lab is linked to deaths of 20 people, investigators say trends now
A blunder at a lab which saw thousands of positive Covid cases reported as negative could have led to the deaths of 20 people, according to new estimates.
The error at the Wolverhampton lab meant that around 39,000 PCR tests were reported as negative when they should have been positive between September 2 and October 12 2021 — mostly in the south-west of England.
As a result, many people would have continued with their daily lives and not self-isolated even though they had Covid.
Experts from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have estimated the blunder led to about 55,000 additional infections.
NHS Test and Trace suspended testing operations provided by Immensa Health Clinic Ltd (pictured) at its laboratory in Wolverhampton in October 2021 following reports of inaccurate results
They estimated that each person who received a false negative result went on to infect around two other people on average — though some would have continued to take measures to reduce the spread of infection.
Researchers also estimated that there were about 680 additional hospital admissions 'that may not otherwise have occurred'.
'Similarly, we estimate that there may have been just over 20 additional deaths in these most affected areas,' they