Daisy Cooper: Scrapping free lateral flow tests would leave the public flying blind.

Yesterday, LBC reported that the Government would scrap free PCR and lateral flow tests for Covid from as early as next week.

Lib Dem Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper highlighted the dangers in this approach, saying it would also make it impossible for those at highest risk of severe disease to properly assess what was safe for them to do. She also highighted the impact of making people pay or tests when they are already struggling with rising living costs.

Scrapping free tests when case rates are still sky high will leave the public and scientists flying blind. If there’s one sure fire way to put the country at risk of another lockdown, it’s scrapping all the warning lights like this.

It will also be impossible for the immunosuppressed to take ‘personal responsibility’ for assessing their risk if there’s no actual data on the level of risk in their community.

Charging for essential tests would hit those who can least afford it hardest, at a time when families are already being clobbered by rising taxes and soaring energy bills.

The Government was happy to waste billions of taxpayers’ cash on useless PPE, but is penny-pinching when it comes to providing people with vital Covid tests.

It’s clear that the Government isn’t acting in the national interest but instead is keen to help their wealthy friends make more money from the pandemic.

The Government must guarantee free Lateral Flow Tests so people can do the right thing and keep others safe, not make it harder to do so.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

9 Comments

  • John Marriott 16th Feb '22 - 12:52pm

    The problem with Lateral Flow Tests is that they are not as accurate as the PCR test. I speak from experience. I first tested positive on 31 January, following my wife’s positive test the previous Thursday. 27 January. We both carried on testing positive for the rest of that week and took the required precautions. By Monday 7 February my wife’s reading was negative, while the positive line on my test was very faint. We still stayed at home. By Wednesday mine was clear as well.

    As I had agreed to take part in a survey, I had received a swab test kit the previous day and so tested myself again and mailed the stuff back as well as completing a rather exhaustive on line questionnaire. I really thought I was doing my civic duty. Now I wish that I hadn’t. Imagine my surprise when I got an email back from the survey people to tell me that the sample I had sent was positive and I was told to isolate and await a call from the test and trace people. Over that weekend I conducted another four tests and all were negative. Yesterday I got a call from a very nice young man from Test and Trace, whom I managed to persuade that, after isolating for over two weeks and having had four negative results from the LFTs, I reckoned that I was entitled to emerge from hiding (sorry, isolation).

    I wonder whether any LDV contributors have had a similar experience.

  • Catherine Hodgkinson 16th Feb '22 - 2:26pm

    What about people who are regularly visiting relatives in care/ nursing homes? I do a lateral flow test almost everyday in order to visit my husband, so do an enormous number of others. I have seen mention of charging £30 for a box of 6 tests. So the cost of each visit would be £5. This would be another burden for many people who are already under great pressure.

  • I have to disagree as the cost of these tests is staggering and achieves little other than delaying the inevitable positive result that will come eventually.

    The money could be better spent in various other ways that could actually save more lives.

  • So in a week or so, all restrictions will be lifted and the government will (by its own choice) be flying blind on the effects… I suppose if you believe the politicians the pandemic is over so nothing to worry about…

    @Catherine Hodgkinson – What has become abundantly clear, if given the choice, care at home is preferable to retirement/care/nursing home.
    It is going to be interesting to see how, in the new age of CoViD being as prevalent as the common cold, organisations will maintain their barriers. Unfortunately, in this environment, it will be practically impossible to protect the vulnerable.

  • …………………..Daisy Cooper: Scrapping free lateral flow tests would leave the public flying blind………………

    That is their intention..

    As for, “If there’s one sure fire way to put the country at risk of another lockdown, it’s scrapping all the warning lights like this.” I believe that ‘scrapping the warning lights’ is so the government can claim that there is not be enough evidence to warrant a lockdown…

  • CATHERINE HODGKINSON 17th Feb '22 - 8:54am

    In reply to Roland i steongly believe that it is best for people to be cared for at home but the support to enable that to happen safely is woefully inadequate.

  • @CATHERINE HODGKINSON – “I strongly believe it is best for people to be cared for at home but the support to enable that to happen safely is woefully inadequate.”

    Agree, in recent months I’ve come face-to-face with the reality. We had the ‘joy’ (ironic) of a bed bound elderly relative being discharged to “full” at home care, which didn’t include domestic services (eg. laundry and house cleaning) and shopping – Social services thought I was daft when I questioned how they expected such a person to undertake such tasks or be able to visit a cash machine to withdraw cash to enable carers to go shopping.

  • John Marriott 16th Feb ’22 – 12:52pm:
    The problem with Lateral Flow Tests is that they are not as accurate as the PCR test.

    True, but neither are 100% accurate. The PCR test is more sensitive (depending on cycle threshold) and may detect viral fragments weeks or even months after infection as you’ve discovered…

    ‘How Long Will You Test Positive for COVID-19?’ [26th. January 2022]:
    https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-long-does-a-positive-covid-test-last-5216810

    If you get COVID-19, you may test positive on a PCR test for several weeks after you have ceased to be infectious. With a rapid test, you may test positive for six or seven days after your symptoms have cleared.

    Unless you’re going into hospital, seeing a dentist, or visiting someone who’s immunocompromised then testing for Covid is now largely pointless. The Omicron variants (BA.1 and BA.2 sister-clades) are highly transmissible, but fortunately have low pathogenicity with symptoms similar to a common cold. They’ve now almost completely displaced the far more serious but less transmissible Delta variant with Omicron BA.2 slowly displacing BA.1. We’re all going to be exposed to it sooner or later if we haven’t been already. Research shows it provides good immunity against previous variants. Some doctors have described Omicron as a polyvalent vaccine and as “the vaccine that we failed to make”.

  • Marco 16th Feb ’22 – 3:20pm:
    I have to disagree as the cost of these tests is staggering and achieves little other than delaying the inevitable positive result that will come eventually.

    Indeed; now we know, as predicted, that Omicron won’t overwhelm the NHS, there’s no longer any need to spread the remaining infections out. The UK has an exceptionally high level of immunity…

    UKHSA: ‘COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report Week 7’ [17th. February 2022]:
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1055620/Vaccine_surveillance_report_-_week_7.pdf

    Based on antibody testing of blood donors, 99.1% of the adult population have antibodies to COVID-19 from either infection or vaccination compared to 28.6% that have antibodies from infection alone.

    The money could be better spent in various other ways that could actually save more lives.

    Absolutely. If a small fraction of the money wasted on Test and Trace had been spent on promoting vitamin D3 supplementation (4,000-5,000IU per day) then a great many lives could have been saved. The evidence for vitamin D continues to accumulate, but is still dismissed by NICE.

    ‘Pre-infection 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and association with severity of COVID-19 illness’ [3rd. February 2022]:
    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0263069

    Patients with vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL) were 14 times more likely to have severe or critical disease than patients with 25(OH)D ≥40 ng/mL.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Michael BG
    Joe Bourke Thank you for your comment. The producer energy companies are benefiting from the higher price of gas and so these higher profits should be taxed ...
  • Michael BG
    Jenny Barnes, I had been using a lower figure for medium earnings (in October I was saying that average earning was £32,084 https://www.libdemvoice.org/jere...
  • Katharine Pindar
    Alastaire S. Even big businesses can fail and are failing, Alastaire as I am reminded every time I visit my local town centre and see the huge empty shell of wh...
  • Martin
    It is a hard question: who could we see as Leader of the Party, someone who is able to promote modern Liberalism and have the ability to make use of declining f...
  • Zachary Adam Barker
    "Ed Davey is the likeliest leader of the current crops of MPs" Then perhaps we should consider allowing the party leader to come from outside of the Commons ...