So, what’s the problem here, Guardian?

One of two 90-minute rapid coronavirus tests bought by the UK government and announced on Monday has yet to be approved by regulators, while no data on the accuracy of either has been published, the Guardian has learned.

The test, from Oxford Nanopore, a young biotech company spun off from Oxford University, has not yet gained a CE mark. Before Covid-19, Oxford Nanopore had been involved only in research, not tests for patients.

We’re in an emergency, government should still only buy things that have all the boxes ticked? Or, CE is a European thing. We should be berating the bureaucrats for not pulling their thumbs out?

What, actually, is the complaint you want to make?

22 thoughts on “So, what’s the problem here, Guardian?”

  1. The problem for the Grauniad is that the Tory Government is doing it and it must therefore by definition be wrong and/or corrupt.

  2. Test with both the new quick one and the old slow one. If the results differ you can measure how comparatively accurate the new test is and use accordingly.

  3. To be fair, Mr Dent, that the line all the other newspapers & broadcast media take. But stories like that sell media. Good news stories don’t. So they’re all in competition to run the gloomiest story. If it didn’t happen, they’ll make it up.

  4. “What, actually, is the complaint you want to make?”

    I wish to complain that the Guardian imagines that ‘data’ is singular.

  5. Why would you want to be fair, Mr bis? They are destroying your civilization and you want to be fair?

    A little pendantry. Mrs Bobo warned all 50 years ago, “Beware people who use adjectives to describe the finite.”

    ’90-minute rapid’ is bogus.

  6. ‘Data’ is a mass noun, so it takes singular quantities, same as ‘sand’, ‘milk’, ‘rice’, etc. Would you insist on “the sand are”, “the rice are”, “the milk are”?

  7. I understand that the drugs and vaccines used to deal with ebola have still not received the final nod. They seem to have worked nonetheless.

  8. The singular of ‘data’ is not ‘datum’. That might be its origin, but it’s not how it gets used in the contexts that really need either word, for example data processing or metrology.

    Datum is normally used to denote a reference against which some kind of reading can be taken, such as a fixed pointer against a moving scale. It does not denote the value resulting from a single act of measurement.

    And a single item of data is often not a datum, in the sense of a single measured value: it’s instead some kind of composite made up of some number of observations taken around a single event or situation. That is, one item of data can have structure, even if some of its meaning has been abstracted. (Abstracting some of the meaning, and doing something useful with what’s left, is why we even bother talking about data.)

    To an extent it’s a matter of style. You can defend either approach, but you will encounter a whole lot less ugliness if you just accept that data is a mass noun.

  9. The word data is frequently used instead of the phrase “a set of data”, in which case it is singular, whereas if the phrase is written in full ‘data’ is plural.

  10. The rapid tests are not rapid if there is a pinch point in the testing process. If it’s all down to a fancy piece of equipment that can only handle one test at a time, then the first test will take 90 minutes, but the 2nd test taken at the same time will take 180 minutes. I suspect (I have knowledge of the testing processes) that the official tests are just as quick as these new tests. It’s just that they probably have bank up on bank of kit to carry out the test with.

  11. “ Test with both the new quick one and the old slow one. If the results differ you can measure how comparatively accurate the new test is and use accordingly.”

    the current test isn’t 100% accurate, though it has been treated as such, which means we will always have some coronavirus cases around when we are doing mass testing. Imagine 1million tests a week with a false positive of 1%, then you are always going to be reporting thousands of ‘cases’ a week.
    Given that PHE can’t adjust for increased testing, rate is same so cases have gone up because of more testing, the chances of them and the media accounting for false positives is pretty much zero

  12. We are NOT in an emergency–well perhaps an economic one caused by hysteria –compounded with power-grabbing and a determination to brass out the original packs of lies about “deadly pandemic”.

    Screw all the tests –just more dirty tricks. Like creating a “spike” by putting weeks –months sometimes–of sparse deaths into one weeks stats. And boo hooing about more virus–despite NO more illness death.

  13. Agree, somewhat, Mr Ecks. If you need a fvcking test to tell if you have it, it can’t be that bad.

  14. The current tests, as Ecks says, are not reliable and false postives have never been considered by PHE

    “…When working with biological and biochemical test data, it is important to understand what the test is measuring. There is a general perception, endorsed by the media and Government spokespeople, that the RT-PCR test detects the presence of the virus in swabs. It does no such thing. It detects a segment of one component of the virus, namely the RNA molecule contained within the virus capsule. The segment detected could have arisen from an intact viable virus particle, from a non-viable virus particle or from residual material or debris from virus particles destroyed or degraded by the host’s immune response…..”

  15. For the type of test being used I believe 98% accuracy is the cutoff for certification, they are not intended to be gold standard as they work on fragments. Consider the case in Africa where the President sent them samples from animals and fruit that came back positive.
    As there was a rush to get testing in place I don’t think there is a conclusive study on false negatives and positives, some articles have even dismissed possible high rates as better safe than sorry, like an entire remote community in Canada that had a load of positive tests that on retesting (and nobody being ill, something of a giveaway) turned out to be wrong results, conclusion was better safe than sorry.

  16. ‘better safe than sorry’

    The U.S. is spending trillions of dollars it doesn’t have on better safe than sorry.

    So who is lending the US money, or are the bastards just printing it?

  17. Exclusive: Alyssa Milano pulling out her own hair in bid to seek attention to revive flagging career

    Didn’t work for Bratny

  18. “Why would you want to be fair, Mr bis?”

    Delingpole answers:

    ‘For the right, principles are everything: so important that they can transcend even your own cause. You see this in the way righties like myself will often go into battle on behalf of their enemies if they feel their enemies have been wronged.’

    This is what I am talking about when I say the Left doesn’t really care. They use your mores against you. E.g., they’ll say, “We must save our democracy!” They couldn’t care less about democracy, but they know you do.

    The Right’s clinging to principle makes ’em easy.

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