NHS rubbishes rumour Covid tests are ‘fooled’ with ketchup

Moray's health board reassured residents that the coronavirus outbreak was 'real and serious'.

NHS rubbishes rumour Covid tests are ‘fooled’ with ketchup Gov.uk

A Scottish health board has reassured members of the public that a rise in coronavirus cases is not down to people “fooling” Covid-19 tests with tomato sauce.

NHS Grampian issued advice rubbishing rumours that the increasing number of positive results in Moray were due to Lateral Flow Devices being tricked by ketchup – or any other condiment.

The statement comes as the health board seeks to reassure residents after the rate of coronavirus cases in the council area surged above the rest of Scotland.

A NHS Grampian spokesperson said: “Please set aside the rumours and hearsay. The situation in Moray is real and it is serious.”

Young adults in Moray are to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations sooner than expected in a bid to tackle the growing outbreak. NHS Grampian said 18-39-year-olds will start to receive appointments from Saturday.

The update came the day after the health board said door-to-door testing for the virus was being considered due to a “rapidly deteriorating” outbreak.

Almost 50 coronavirus cases have been linked to Elgin Academy since April 14. More than a quarter of the school’s population of around 1000 pupils have since been ordered by public health officials to self-isolate.

An NHS Grampian spokesperson said: “We can’t quite believe we have to say this, but here goes: rising case numbers in Moray are not the result of people ‘fooling’ Lateral Flow Devices with tomato ketchup – or any other condiment for that matter.

“A positive Lateral Flow Device test is always followed up with a PCR test to confirm the result. This is the gold standard of testing. 90% of the positive LFD tests in Moray have been confirmed as positive by PCR testing.

“We are seeing people requiring hospital treatment as a result of COVID-19 infection. We need people to [protect Moray], stick to the guidelines, and take up the expanded testing offer.”

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