The OptiGene Direct RT-Lamp test, which will be deployed to test hospital workers in Liverpool next week, reportedly identified only 46 per cent of infections in a trial last month. Scientists from Greater Manchester’s mass testing group said they have “significant concerns” about the test and that cases may not be detected.
The rapid tests take less than 20 minutes to provide a result.
The Department of Health said it was “incorrect” to suggest the Lamp test had low sensitivity and said it had been validated in a number of other trials.
Professor Mark Wilcox, of the department’s Technical Validation Group, said: “The Lamp tests used in Manchester have been validated in other laboratories and in real-world testing for use in different settings.”
Meanwhile, a scientist has warned the NHS Test and Trace system has made no difference to the spread of coronavirus.
James Naismith, a professor at Oxford University, said the system was only reaching a fraction of the number of people who should be contacted.