Quickdraw18 - He's gone down a blind alley today by pursuing what he wrongly believed was a "dual test" from China and ended up being shot down on his own programme. Shortly after his article went out on twitter, I emailed him about the tests from China, he replied before his show went out at 10.45pm as follows;
Robert Peston <..................>
Wed 01/04/2020 22:12
Yes. I am acutely aware. They were from a different supplier. But as you imply the big question is whether they actually work!
ITV Political Editor
whufcpaul - agreed. He put Peston to the sword on that issue. PHE, Dep't of Health and Government in general are being backed into a corner. Only a matter of time before a whistle blower steps forward or a disaffected minister resigns. Media now turning against the gov't, judging by tomorrow's front pages. PM should have nominated a minister to have responsibility for the oversight of testing and procurement.
Interesting how Rishi Sunak has disappeared into the shadows this week after he upstaged Boris Johnson when he shared the platform with him at the news conferences. Politics is a very dirty game.
Quickdraw18 - RP seems to have spent most of today barking up the wrong tree because he has failed to grasp the difference between the antigen and antibody tests; hence his belief that the tests purchased by the UK from China are dual purpose tests! Clearly, they are not. They are antibody tests!
hb83 - yes. This is where their serology dep't sits and obviously where any antigen test for Covid-19 may or may not be under development. Personally, I think we're going to get news on that front soon.
Heid; hence today's directive to all NHS labs that they must now work at their full capacity each day, testing front line staff. Just 2000 tested and we're entering the critical phase!
Bella6532 - according to Peston, 'The Government paid ready cash for them. They belong to the NHS. Which presumably means someone thinks they are useful and can work. So the biggest question of all is whether they will be distributed to the frontline, to hospitals, within the coming few days?
Perhaps PHE can shed some light on this issue by issuing an update on the tests currently undergoing independent clinical performance evaluation. However, it would appear that there is something fundamentally wrong with them because PHE officials have been 'startlingly negative about their usefulness'!
Bella6532 - the NCYT test can be used on multiple platforms in labs across the world. Its compatibility is one of its many strengths. It also appears that many labs in the UK are currently being under-used.
It would appear the tests purchased by the UK from China, have been paid for and delivered without them being formally evaluated.
handyman10 - the resilience and preparedness of governments and public health bodies across the world, not just here, has been cruelly exposed by this virus. So much so it's almost as if they never expected anything like this to happen. Complacency and Covid-19 is a lethal combination.
frankpantangio - yes, that's what it looks like. PHE officials do not appear to have confidence in these tests for whatever reason. Unfortunately, the government has already made a bulk purchase and handed over the cash. Let's hope they get a refund if they are not successfully evaluated.
The scientists and epidemiologists say that both tests are important. You are deliberately emphasising the antibody test because NCYT (Primerdesign) is yet to release one, but that could change very soon! Transparent and desperate.
RE: post at 20:18 - the tests from China may well be cheap and available now, but are they accurate and reliable. I do not think so and that is the reason for the startling negativity about these tests from PHE officials. Reading between the lines, the government may have jumped the gun by purchasing these tests in bulk before they were formally evaluated. Could be a costly mistake and one which will not go away now it's in the public domain.
Tests from China supplied to Spain, The Netherlands & Czach Republic have failed recently after they were shown to be unreliable.
9iN - usual negativity from you after your exit at 40p!
The deficiencies of the Abbot tests have previously been highlighted on this bb which you are aware of because you contributed to the discussion. Nevertheless you return and regurgitate the same claim about Abbott, posting the same links!
Antigen tests from China referred to by Robert Peston in his report at 4.13pm today
You have failed to mention this part of Peston's report;
This takes me to my second big point. Public Health England (PHE) has had the opportunity to assess whether these tests work for the best part of a fortnight. And for reasons that are extremely unclear, it has not expedited that assessment. In fact I have been given reports of PHE officials being startlingly negative about the usefulness of these tests, even though the Government owns them and they have not been vetted here.
The key phrase 9iN is, officials were 'startlingly negative about the usefulness of these tests'. Now why do you think that was?
handyman10 - This purchase of antibody tests from China appears to have been paid for and completed prior to these tests being formally evaluated by PHE. This may prove to be a risky and costly plan by the government given the failures of previous tests from China supplied to Spain, Netherlands & Czech Republic! Surely the government should have taken sample tests and formally evaluated these before any bulk purchase! NCYT' S test is an antigen test not an antibody test, as things currently stand. Over to you handyman10
RP has decided to the draw attention to the government's purchase of antibody tests from China. This purchase appears to have been paid for and completed prior to these tests being formally evaluated by PHE. This may prove to be a risky and costly plan by the government given the failures of the tests from China in Spain, Netherlands & Czech Republic! Surely they should have taken sample tests and formally evaluated these before any bulk purchase!
bobminor - George Eustace did this when he disclosed that he was not aware of Novacyt during his interview with Kay Burley, Sky News! The government and its medical advisors' probably get advanced disclosure of the questions in the Q&A at the end of each news conference.