Staff at a Covid testing centre have been slammed after it emerged that 20 people may have died due to thousands of positive tests being marked as negative.
Immensa private testing centre in Wolverhampton wrongly labelled 39,000 positive cases of Covid as being negative.
It is possible that the false negatives led to around 55,000 extra Covid cases in Autumn 2021, the UK Health Security Agency has revealed.
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The UKHSA has also claimed that around 680 more hospital admissions occurred, and 20 people likely lost their lives as a result.
Oddly it is the same testing centre where fighting staff were picture scrapping about on the floor during the height of the pandemic.
At the height of the pandemic, two members of the team at the site were filmed play fighting in front of confused onlookers who had come to get tested.
A spokesman for the UKHSA said: “Similarly, we estimate that there may have been just over 20 additional deaths in the most affected area.
"Each incorrect negative test likely led to just over two additional infections.
"In those same geographical areas, our results also suggest an increased number of admissions and deaths
“The cause of the mistakes was the incorrect setting of the threshold levels for reporting positive and negative results of PCR samples for Covid-1.
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“Based on background infection rates in different population groups at the time, UKHSA estimated that this error could have led to around 39,000 results being incorrectly reported as negative when they should have been positive.
“It is our view that there was no single action that NHS Test and Trace could have taken differently to prevent this error arising in the private laboratory.”
Immensa was given a £119m contract in October 2020 to “develop volume for PCR testing for Covid in line with test and trace requirements.”
It skipped the normal tender process due to the pandemic needing an urgent response.
The Daily Star has reached out to Immensa for comment.
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