Speaking to Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on Friday’s Good Morning Britain, the GP appeared to have changed his mind about the rapid tests as he explained ‘we’ll get less false negatives than we thought’.
‘Good news though, with these rapid tests will be a step forward. They’re not as reliable as the PCR Antigen tests we have been relying on so far,’ he began.
‘However, they do tend to pick up those people who have a higher viral low, that is more likely to transmit the virus.
‘So people who are asymptomatic, but beginning to come to the point where they develop symptoms and just after that.
‘Those people have a high viral low in these tests that take 15 minutes to get a result from, could pick most of those tests up.’
‘That’s a really good thing, it means we’ll get less false negatives than we thought,’ he added.
‘People thinking they could go on with their daily lives without affecting others, we won’t see so much of that.’
It was only on yesterday’s GMB when the TV doctor told Ben and Susanna Reid that ‘we need to be careful’ of the rapid tests because some people carrying the virus (without knowing) could pass the test.
‘I think we need to be careful here with how this is reported,’ he told the hosts.
‘I think it’s good we have rapid tests, in fact we have always had rapid tests, they just haven’t been very reliable.
‘Even these rapid tests, attractive as they seem to be, only pick up 75% of people who are asymptomatic.
‘Which means that one in four people who are carrying the virus could have no symptoms, could be passing the test, a false negative if you like and transmitting the virus to other people.’
Last month it was revealed that scientists had developed a new rapid Covid test that can identify coronavirus in less than five minutes.
The NHS Track and Trace will send out over half a million rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests to local public health leaders this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced.
Test kits will be issued to over 50 directors of public health across England, to enable local teams to direct and deliver community testing based on their local knowledge.
Each will receive a batch of 10,000 antigen lateral flow devices as part of a new pilot to enable them to start testing priority groups.
Good Morning Britain airs at 6am on ITV.
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