Covid testing laboratories 'on verge of collapse', PCR firm warns holidaymakers

Ross Tomkins, MD of British healthcare company Salutaris People, which provides rapid PCR testing at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, said the laboratory testing system is being pushed to capacity.

By David Nowell
Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 12:30 pm
Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Liverpool John Lennon Airport

His comments came as the major Covid testing laboratories face an unprecedented demand in PCR testing.

Mr Tomkins warned of the very real situation that is now unfolding as holidaymakers miss flights and test results are delayed or lost, alongside a huge upsurge in "unclear" test results.

The chaos has been caused by the Covid laboratory testing system being overwhelmed with the rise in self-administered postal PCR test kits that airline passengers and holidaymakers need to take prior to departure.

Laboratories have been unable to cope with the deluge of test kits following the Government’s gradual lifting of air travel restrictions.

Salutaris People has reported a significant increase in bookings for its testing service as a result of passengers whose PCR tests have been lost, delayed or been returned "unclear"

Mr Tomkins, said: “Last week we processed 150 tests booked by airline passengers and holidaymakers, all of whom had their PCR tests lost, delayed or returned ‘unclear’.

"Many of those people were also due to take flights and start their holidays within days.

"We were able to offer those passengers rapid express 3-hour testing and 24-hour testing, which in turn enabled the passengers to catch their flights on time.

"As we have our own laboratory on site at Liverpool, we can process rapid tests for customers quickly and efficiently. Our tests are administered on site by trained healthcare professionals, which drastically reduces the risk of ‘unclears’. "

He added: “It is clear to see that the laboratories are overwhelmed with the sheer volume of testing kits being sent in by airline passengers eager to get away on holiday.

"As a result of this, the labs are losing test kits or mixing up test results, while others are being delayed and a large percentage are coming back with ‘unclears.’

"When an ‘unclear’ happens, it is either down to the test being self-administered or due to leakage in transit.”

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