Comments: Today...

Yes we have the lateral flow test kits, as you say why wouldn't we? We don't go out much but who knows when I have to go and buy a guitar?

Thanks for the heads-up about the More or Less Extra, I'm sure I'd have come across it at some point but can now go and listen ASAP.

Posted by NiC on 19 July, 2021 at 11:47 AM

Discussed the lifting of Restrictions with some friends today, over coffee.
We're going to keep our masks handy for when we're in crowded places (when we _have_ to be), or on public transport. And we'll carry on with the sanitiser and washing our hands frequently.

As Andrew Marr, and now Sajid Javid have found out, having been 'double jabbed' doesn't stop you getting it, and when you do it's like the Very WORST Flu EVER. Which makes you wonder about what it's like if you're not vaccinated. Hmmm.

Otherwise I suppose we could all move out to the wilds of the countryside, and try to get things delivered . . .

And pray for a credible alternative to the present Eton Old Boy's club 'leadership'!

Posted by Sharon on 20 July, 2021 at 12:08 AM

I think the main issue with the takeup of lateral flow test kits is the complete absence of advertising. Many people don't seem to know about them.

I'm not sure science can be contradictory in this context. However, the conclusions that scientists (and others) draw from observations that frequently contradict one another.

I think that politicians view people as units who will vote for them if they do this, or not vote for them if they do that. Far from acting in the long term public good, they are mostly acting in any way in which they think they can stay in power. Or am I being too cynical?

For More or Less fans, don't forget that when it is out of season on Radio 4, there is usually a 9-10 minute weekly edition on the World Service. If you subscribe as a podcast, you get the lot.

Posted by Tim W on 20 July, 2021 at 7:35 AM

Agreed on Lateral flow, we have picked a fair few up from our local chemist and tested. However not sure on accuracy, two people I know who tested positive via a PCR test in the last two weeks both returned negative LFT while displaying symptoms just before. Evidence suggests 58% effective picking up asymptomatic and 72% with symptoms. This may be done to the effectiveness of the tester though! However better than nothing for sure.

Posted by Geroge on 20 July, 2021 at 8:25 AM

Just a heads up that it is suggested that the government may start charging for lateral flow tests from next month. Far be it for me to suggest that this is a plot to reduce positive test results.

Posted by Ian on 20 July, 2021 at 11:35 AM

Thanks Ian, I hadn't heard that, so have just ordered another box (to go with the box already arriving today)... although I had anticipated this and already have *coughs* a goodly supply both north and south.

Given that we have a seriously ill parent down south, and a succession of workmen through (who don't even wash their hands when they've been in the portaloo, let alone the rest of the time), better to be safe than sorry.

This sort of announcement isn't helpful though, is it?

All it means is that those who don't really need to be testing regularly (the 'worried well' who hardly go anywhere anyway) will hoard them, just as they hoarded toilet roll and flour in March 2020.

Posted by Blue Witch on 20 July, 2021 at 12:10 PM

According to some professor of something or other on the radio the other day, LFTs are supposed to be 95% accurate, but, as you say George, it is down to the effectiveness of the tester. But, given that (I'm told) most PCR tests are self-administered now, even if you go to a test centre, it's going to be the same tester error, if there is an error made.

Posted by Blue Witch on 20 July, 2021 at 12:44 PM

More on LFTs

'The Week' today claims that it will be September before charging for LFTs is reviewed. It also states that £3Bn has already been spent on 1Bn of them, and that:

"The NAO’s report also stated that of the 691 million LFTs distributed since mass testing was rolled out, just 96 million have been registered with the government - meaning that as many as 600 million tests may have gone unused."

Given that there is no requirement to register results (and they don't follow-up to see if you have used the tests you've ordered, or ensure you've reported in before ordering more), I'd suspect that most people don't bother. I did at first, but don't now as I was sick of getting emails that tell me what I've just told them.

There seems to be plans to start making employers pay for them, and to offer a 'badge' for 'responsible and caring employers' to use with their branding.

Pharmacies are currently being paid £1.50+VAT per box of 7 that they hand out, but those posted probably cost more than that.

The most amusing/frustrating thing about the tests, though, is that they are all made in China, and come complete with about 40 pieces of plastic in each pack.

Posted by Blue Witch on 20 July, 2021 at 2:27 PM