UP to 2.5million coronavirus test results have gone missing in the UK, it has emerged.
Health bosses have delivered 10.65million tests through the post or at testing sites since the pandemic erupted.
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But only just over 8million have been processed, figures put out by health officials yesterday showed.
The gulf will fuel concerns that Brits are ordering tests and not returning them or that kits have gone missing in the post.
The Sun revealed earlier this year that health bosses only count the number of tests sent out, not how many are actually carried out.
The Department of Health has also stopped publishing the number of people being swabbed.
It now only says how many tests are done overall – even if this involved multiple tests on one person.
Critics blasted the government, accusing them of spinning the figures to make it look like more people are being tested.
Justin Madders, shadow health minister, raged: “How can 2.5 million tests be unaccounted for? The testing system is in absolute chaos with ministers unable to keep a track of how many people are being tested.
“As lockdown measures are relaxed it is vital in order to maintain public confidence that the Government demonstrates they have control over the testing system.
“This starts with providing accurate numbers.”
Lib Dem health chief Munira Wilson said: “We have known for months that Ministers were inflating the numbers on Covid-19 testing, but these abysmal figures expose the fact that millions of tests may not have even been opened.
“This Government has failed and continues to fail to offer regular repeat testing to frontline NHS and care staff, yet they have poured taxpayers money down the drain sending out millions of tests that are now unaccounted for.
“Ministers must come clean about the reasons so many tests have not been processed and what they are doing to sort this out.”
Quizzed on the numbers, the PM’s spokesman said: “It will be the case that some members of the public may order a test and then for whatever reason they choose not to return that test.
“Obviously, if people are ordering tests it is entirely right that we should provide them with one.”
Last night, a spokesman for the Department of Health said many of the so-called missing tests were swabs which have been sent to care homes to be used when needed.
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