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Rapid Covid testing in England may be scaled back over false positives – The Guardian

Senior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London.

…However, leaked emails seen by the Guardian show that senior officials are now considering scaling back the widespread testing of people without symptoms, due to a growing number of false positives.

…On 9 April, the day everyone in England was able to order twice-weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests, Dyson wrote: “As of today, someone who gets a positive LFD result in (say) London has at best a 25% chance of it being a true positive, but if it is a self-reported test potentially as low as 10% (on an optimistic assumption about specificity) or as low as 2% (on a more pessimistic assumption).”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/15/rapid-covid-testing-in-england-may-be-scaled-back-over-false-positives

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Rapid, point‐of‐care antigen and molecular‐based tests for diagnosis of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection – Chochrane Library

We identified virtually no evidence for mass screening of asymptomatic individuals using rapid antigen tests in people with no known exposure. A small study screening travellers returning from high‐risk countries (Cerutti 2020), identified only five SARS‐CoV‐2 infections (prevalence of 3%) with a reported sensitivity of antigen testing for detecting infection of 40%. However, important larger studies have been published since the end of our search, as mentioned above.

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD013705.pub2/full

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Disposable surgical face masks for preventing surgical wound infection in clean surgery – Cochrane Library (2016)

We included three trials, involving a total of 2106 participants. There was no statistically significant difference in infection rates between the masked and unmasked group in any of the trials. We identified no new trials for this latest update.

From the limited results it is unclear whether the wearing of surgical face masks by members of the surgical team has any impact on surgical wound infection rates for patients undergoing clean surgery.

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD002929.pub3/full