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1 hour ago, Ed Poore said:

There are valid (and legal) reasons why people don't necessarily want to be tracked by companies. There are people, quite a lot of those protecting their respective countries, where phones are turned off well before they get near their place of work. Ironically that in itself gives away some stuff.

Fair enough ūüĎćūüŹĽ

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1 hour ago, monkie said:

Yes you are correct. It is PCR tests being used across the world to diagnose Covid. Antibody tests are to see who has had the virus but recovered. 

The poor tests were the rapid tests to do at home, not lab based tests

Cool, ta, as I thought.

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2 hours ago, monkie said:

Sorry Red to contradict you here but I'm not sure where you are getting that information from. That last part about false negatives simply isn't true. 

I have a degree in this very area and work for a very large molecular diagnostics company who are providing one of the commercial PCR tests for Covid. Let me explain why it isn't true:

A false negative is when a patient sample which is actually positive is falsely reported as negative by a test because something has gone wrong within the test for that sample. False negatives on the commercial PCR tests are almost impossible because of an internal control. An internal control is integral to each test in addition to a positive target control being run on each sample batch to demonstrate the covid target can be detected. 

A false negative result would be caused by a problem with the test reagents or most likely an inhibitory substance within the sample caused by poor nucleic acid extraction. This inhibitor would shut down the reaction in the individual test. Each test result that is negative has to be validated by the internal control being valid to prove the test has worked. If both the target and the control are negative, the test is automatically flagged as invalid and no result is given. This is part of the requirement for FDA approval which our test and others being used have. 

The main worry with PCR tests compared to other types of testing is actually the opposite: false positives. That's because PCR is an incredibly sensitive technique. However this effect is eliminated with modern tests by using additives in the test (UDG if you would like to look it up) that destroy amplified material from previous positive tests which could contaminate other tests. This again must be demonstrated in each batch of tests run by running a negative control to prove no contamination is present. 

So for a negative result to be valid and reportes as such 3 things must all be true: the internal control must be positive, the positive control must be positive and the negative control must be negative. If any one or more is not true the instrument will not release the result. Simple. 

The tests in the UK at least are mainly being done on inpatients with clinical symptoms to build a picture of what is happening in hospitals.

I do this for a living. I don't claim to be an expert, but I do speak to and work alongside experts every working day. 

First I'd like to say thanks for spending the time educating us on this 

My question relates to something my partner was told in induction for the Covid ward she is working in (she is a nurse)..... they were told to treat every one with symtoms as positive regardless of test results because the test has a 30% error rate...... this may have something to do with our swabbing method, NZ has run low on the nasty nassel swab kits so we are using throat swabs, but at her hospital they still have and use the nassel tests 

 

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It depends on the test they are talking about and who said it. Something about that figure doesn't sound right to me from a laboratory perspective. A commercial test with 30% lack of specificity or sensitivity would not pass approval, even emergency approval for use in a lab. 

If it was a hurried lab developed assay and they hadn't had time to do a large validation study then maybe they could say something like we aren't quite sure of 30% but even that sounds too high to me. I would say that figure of 30% certainly isn't from a biomedical scientist referring to a commercial PCR test. PCR tests are often 100% specific and can detect down to just a few copies of DNA/RNA in 1ml of sample which I think is impressive stuff. 

Additionally, a nurse (my wife is also a nurse) must assume everyone is positive and will be taking the precautions they are able to and have been trained to take. In the same way if they may come into contact with blood for example it must be assumed the patient has HIV or Hep C and the appropriate precautions taken. 

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Thanks for that, that fits with the little I remembered from I was a student and didn't have a clue what to do... I did a first yr of University Chemistry and Biology. The guy that ran the induction was a consultant so his experiance could be anything 

The treatment was just that for how they treat the symtoms... the precautions and PPE that was just the normal for contagous situations, she is one of the nurses who did that side of treatment in the hospital anyway 

Sorry about the lack of details lol she is alseep after doing a night shift so I don't want to wake her 

 

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My wife (she's a doctor) was also told the test was only 70% sensitive (i.e. only 7 in 10 positive samples would be reported as such) when she was tested. I've seen that figure - and even as low as 60% for the tests in some countries (?NZ) - repeatedly in media reports, and seems to be the accepted figure within the NHS. Worth bearing in mind that my wife was tested a couple of weeks ago when they were only just managing to start testing staff at her hospital - but it's still what they're being told.

Any idea where that 70% figure is coming from?

If nothing else, it's pretty significant in light of the reports from South Korea of patients retesting as positive after a negative test (so, initial positive test, then negative, then positive again). Could be reinfection  - but with a 70% sensitive test you'd expect significant numbers with that pattern who simply still had the virus.

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8 minutes ago, geoffbeaumont said:

My wife (she's a doctor) was also told the test was only 70% sensitive (i.e. only 7 in 10 positive samples would be reported as such) when she was tested. I've seen that figure - and even as low as 60% for the tests in some countries (?NZ) - repeatedly in media reports, and seems to be the accepted figure within the NHS. Worth bearing in mind that my wife was tested a couple of weeks ago when they were only just managing to start testing staff at her hospital - but it's still what they're being told.

Any idea where that 70% figure is coming from?

If nothing else, it's pretty significant in light of the reports from South Korea of patients retesting as positive after a negative test (so, initial positive test, then negative, then positive again). Could be reinfection  - but with a 70% sensitive test you'd expect significant numbers with that pattern who simply still had the virus.

We need to know what test is being talked about here. Is it one of the rapid tests done outside of the lab which have no FDA approval? 

This is not PCR that is being used currently in the UK for testing. 

The only people with a real sound knowledge of the test will be consultant microbiologists/virologist, clinical scientists or biomedical scientists. In my experience (no disrespect to your Dr wife) when I talk to hospital staff outside of the lab they often don't know much about the mechanics of the tests done in Pathology as it isn't their area of focus. 

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1 hour ago, monkie said:

We need to know what test is being talked about here. Is it one of the rapid tests done outside of the lab which have no FDA approval? 

This is not PCR that is being used currently in the UK for testing. 

Almost certainly one of the rapid tests - she was one of the first staff at the hospital tested (after the medical director of the hospital went on the warpath as they desperately needed to get self isolating staff back to work). That may still be all they have up here - or this could be completely out of date info!

1 hour ago, monkie said:

The only people with a real sound knowledge of the test will be consultant microbiologists/virologist, clinical scientists or biomedical scientists. In my experience (no disrespect to your Dr wife) when I talk to hospital staff outside of the lab they often don't know much about the mechanics of the tests done in Pathology as it isn't their area of focus. 

She'd be the first to agree with you!

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There's that old thing about good, fast and cheap but you can only ever have 2 at any one time. 

Rapid tests are often fast and cheap (compared to pcr) but not good. They are not being used in the UK and (as far as I know) nor other European countries such as France, Germany, Spain to screen people and generate the numbers of how many people have the virus. 

Lab based antibody tests will be released within the coming weeks which will be used on current lab serology equipment. The roll out of these tests will be cheaper and easier to do than the PCR and will be helpful for identifying who is and who is not at risk of becoming infected. These tests will also be critical once a vaccine is available so it can be determined who needs it and how effective it is. 

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Current NHS Covid19 testing of patients/staff is NOT accurate and they ARE ignoring results when it suits the NHS!

Two ITU nurses produced symptoms after treating the same patient, one had symptoms and tested positive the other had more serious symptoms and tested negative. My wifes BFF also an ITU nurse had to be admitted to save her life but tested negative, her Matron luckily for nurse ignored the results.

NHS staff are being told to return to work if their partner has symptoms but their partners test results (if they ever get one) are negative!

So no err on the side of caution as they don't have enough staff!!!!

 

Also,

now ITU staff finally have PPE they have been told to ONLY use it if it is absolutley needed?????? WTF does that mean, who decides, not the nurse!

PPE has never been used unless vacumn or fluid removal is required, this is NOT being handled like the public expects an infectious disease control in the media even though the Gov are showing pictures of staff dressed like it. The Gov and NHS is suggesting to the public that the NHS staff is safe but over extended, NOT true nurses continue to die!

 

Sorry for the rant but living with my wife daily receving messages from friends and colleagues is hard to watch.

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On 4/12/2020 at 9:03 AM, Ozzy50 said:

Regarding tracking movement, I’d cards etc etc , I’ve always thought that the only reason for someone to oppose them is because they have something to hide ...............

This argument is fallacious and dangerous.

https://www.wired.com/2013/06/why-i-have-nothing-to-hide-is-the-wrong-way-to-think-about-surveillance/

I'm no expert but I'm a lot more familiar with how all this tech works than the average joe and it's a huge problem that everyone is ignoring because they're too smitten with their social media and mobile phones.

If you've got nothing to hide why not post your full name, address, phone number, credit card, bank details and internet browsing history here for us to see?

 

Also, going back to "why don't they track people with drones" etc... every mobile phone from a 2G Nokia 5110 upwards can be tracked and the police can fairly easily see that, if it's powered up and within range of a cell tower the network knows where it is, it has to for the thing to work. Unlike China, our police generally only do that sort of thing when they have to and mostly they're not tracking who's who, they'll just be looking at broader data like "how many people are in the park?".

Same with our CCTV systems, they're surprisingly simple and usually end up on a video wall in front of some police staff rather than being fed into some sinister national face-recognition database. Honestly I'm more worried about Facebook or internet-connected video doorbells than our public CCTV systems.

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1 hour ago, missingsid said:

now ITU staff finally have PPE they have been told to ONLY use it if it is absolutley needed?????? WTF does that mean, who decides, not the nurse!

I think that is a slight misrepresentation of what was said by Matt Hancock. He has stated that PPE must be used within guidelines only. From this it is clear that in some cases and situations PPE was being used where unnecessary. Where PPE is used like this, it is a waste, and when PPE is in short supply, and some of the supply is going to waste it is right to target it.

Attack the shortage from both directions.

Unfortunately social media got hold of it and said he was blaming the staff for the shortages of PPE, which is pretty farm from the truth. They want the government to act responsibly and effectively, but it must be a team effort.

 

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On 4/12/2020 at 11:26 AM, Ozzy50 said:

I’m still down with the idea of ID cards and I totally get why others oppose the idea which is fair enough , each to their own , AND I totally understand that the major problem with such a system is a police force that gets out of control and we become a police state . So it won’t ever happen anyway. 

There are much better and more private systems being developed for the two major smartphone platforms at the moment, being developed in a joint effort between Apple and Google. This system is "opt in", is untraceable to a specific person and uses bluetooth proximity rather than WiFi/Cellular/GPS location. In the event that someone who has opted in is tested positive, all the people they've been close to in the previous 7/14 days will receive a notification on their device that they may have been in contact with the virus. As well as detecting proximity the function can also record length of contact etc...

It may well end up playing a major role in contact tracing for this and any subsequent pandemics.

In the meantime the "apps" being developed will have less privacy and will rely on less reliable technology. The one thing they will have though, unlike the anonymous operating system functions, is the ability to record someone's "status" as positive, negative or resistant. This is the system that China have been using as they lift the lockdown, anyone moving through checkpoints has to show a green status - negative or resistant on their phone app. I guess we may see a combination of apps and OS functions, shame really that the only countries that were ready for this were China and South Korea due to the previous SARS and Avian Flu precautions and their preparations for handling those.

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My wife is a key-worker - for the police. Working on minor case admin. So busy as hell, trying to clear the back log.

However, she used to be a call handler, so is working extra shifts to help cover comms - mainly 9's.  She was saying that violent crime is way down, as is the usual unpleasantness caused by our alcohol dependant society; however domestic violence is way, way up, but so difficult to police. It's doubly difficult for her as she will no doubt be dealing with a larger number of the victims at a later date...

 

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3 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

I think that is a slight misrepresentation of what was said by Matt Hancock. He has stated that PPE must be used within guidelines only. From this it is clear that in some cases and situations PPE was being used where unnecessary. Where PPE is used like this, it is a waste, and when PPE is in short supply, and some of the supply is going to waste it is right to target it.

Attack the shortage from both directions.

Unfortunately social media got hold of it and said he was blaming the staff for the shortages of PPE, which is pretty farm from the truth. They want the government to act responsibly and effectively, but it must be a team effort.

 

This is the directive given to ITU nurses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

PS

The staff want Hancock to get out of his safe haven and come see what they are coping with.

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3 hours ago, Dave W said:

 is untraceable to a specific person

In the event that someone who has opted in is tested positive, all the people they've been close to in the previous 7/14 days will receive a notification on their device that they may have been in contact with the virus.

However, those two statements are mutually exclusive...if you can't trace a specific person (or at least device - and the entire premise of the system relies on on individual carrying the same device all the time), then you can't notify them.

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1 minute ago, geoffbeaumont said:

However, those two statements are mutually exclusive...if you can't trace a specific person (or at least device - and the entire premise of the system relies on on individual carrying the same device all the time), then you can't notify them.

Is Dave not meaning that its tracable to a device anonymously? Rather than someone being able to get into the system and find that X device belongs to someone identifiable? 

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Possibly - but if you can identify the device you can identify the owner. Plenty of other data (including that held by the two main companies involved) which can be used to achieve that. They may be saying that they won't* identify you. But it's not true that they can't.

* Almost certainly with the standard caveat of "unless we're legally required to". As long as they can, they could be forced to do so even if they don't choose to. Even just being made to hand over their data is likely to be enough to identify you alongside other data (you were in close proximity to X, Y and Z on Tuesday, 4th April at 17:17? Ah, Ross - we have you on CCTV :) ) - and once identified your movements past and present are roughly known (even more interestingly for some people, your associates).

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8 hours ago, missingsid said:

Current NHS Covid19 testing of patients/staff is NOT accurate and they ARE ignoring results when it suits the NHS!

Please can you explain where this information is coming from. I have 11 years experience working in molecular diagnostics with NHS pathology laboratories. I have already explained how this view is a misconception. The PCR tests being used to diagnose sars-cov-2 have very high reproducibility, are 100% specific and have a sensitivity down to just a few genomic copies per mililitre of sample.

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20 minutes ago, monkie said:

Please can you explain where this information is coming from. I have 11 years experience working in molecular diagnostics with NHS pathology laboratories. I have already explained how this view is a misconception. The PCR tests being used to diagnose sars-cov-2 have very high reproducibility, are 100% specific and have a sensitivity down to just a few genomic copies per mililitre of sample.

Sorry for my misconception, perhaps you would like to talk to my friends in ITU or my son who was sent back to work when his girlfreind was still sick.

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There is a notification system currently in place for all devices, apps and web sites. When you register for a notification a unique code is generated that is then used to identify and "send" notifications to the device. There is no connection required between the notification ID that is used and any other information or data on that device, it can be truly anonymous. Devices connect to the Apple or Google servers and present their unique ID, requesting any notifications for that ID and these are then displayed on the device if a notification is found/returned. The data sent via these notifications is end to end encrypted so the content of a message cannot be read even by the intermediary service.

I don't know the precise mechanism for data collection, there have been suggestions that this will be done when/if the owner contracts the virus and the data upload can then be triggered. The data sent would be just the bluetooth IDs encountered, the receiving system would then need to pair those with notification IDs when needed. It may be that they use a new API rather than the existing push notification services.

The point is that this system has no connection to your device or you. Even in the case that notifications are sent out, the sending system has no way to identify who will pick up the notification. If you like, it works like a dead drop in the world of espionage, the sender has no idea who the notification is intended for. The specifications so far released include new encryption techniques for bluetooth messages so I assume each device will also generate it's own public and private key.

If anyone's interested in the underlying technology and the details of the system released so far there are a number of papers/specs available...
https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/04/apple-and-google-partner-on-covid-19-contact-tracing-technology/

 

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I am not critising the work you are doing and for sure I don't know where your work is being used. All I can say is it is not apprently what is being used for any nurse that I know.

Yes nurses are very angry at the way they have been forced back to work when their concern is to protect patients and their collegues if they themselves are still contagious.. Up until recently NHS staff were told to return to work after 7 days of isolation if no test and 7 days after testing positive. They only reached 14 days IF the test results took 7 days to be returned. This is personal family and friend experience, as is all the info I have stated. Only this week were thay told to isolate for 14 days.

Yes it is completely contrary to Gov instruction. THAT is the whole point, it always has been.

Lockdown is even more important for staff as they are working to a different set of rules to that which the public believes, that is why the staff are so Mildly miffed off with the public annoucments from the Gov.

The real reason that the NHS staff are true heros is that they continue do the job every day knowing that they have been left out to dry by their employers and the Gov. The contagious desease protocol requires that a nurse only spends 2 hours with a positive patient at a time with 5 times as many staff to look after them. This is not the case day to day  for Covid.

 

I am aware that I have spread doom and gloom stories at a time where everyone wants uplifting stories. I have always given the Gov. the benifit of the doubt during difficult times. This time I have to watch and listen to my family and friends anguish that flies in the face of the Gov. statements. My wife who is the most quiet, get on with it, person I have ever met, now screams at the TV during the Gov. daily update on TV.

My complaints are not personal just frustraion at seeing the real side of Gov. stories.

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I hear your frustration and concern, I only have admiration for the work your wife is doing. I understand no one is criticising anyone's work, I'm just very keen to dispel any misunderstanding about testing. My wife is a nurse too and has just gone to work now. 

I was talking only yesterday to a Pathology manager at a large London hospital, they are waiting for the green light from NHS England to begin testing staff as they now have the testing capacity and have completed the verification studies to prove the testing works reliably in their hands. 

I only hope the management take a positive result seriously especially for staff. 

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1 hour ago, monkie said:

I hear your frustration and concern, I only have admiration for the work your wife is doing. I understand no one is criticising anyone's work, I'm just very keen to dispel any misunderstanding about testing. My wife is a nurse too and has just gone to work now. 

I was talking only yesterday to a Pathology manager at a large London hospital, they are waiting for the green light from NHS England to begin testing staff as they now have the testing capacity and have completed the verification studies to prove the testing works reliably in their hands. 

I only hope the management take a positive result seriously especially for staff. 

Good news.

I am just useless stuck at home looking after the kids,I know that frees her up but I have no voice to help.

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