Up to 750,000 unused coronavirus testing kits are being recalled due to safety concerns.
The UK’s medicines and healthcare products regulator (MHRA) asked in mid-July following fears over sterility to recall the kits sent out to care homes and individuals.
The government said it was a “precautionary measure” and the risk to safety was low.
It comes weeks after the health secretary said Randox kits should not be used until further notice.
At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is understood to have operated a haphazard policy for obtaining testing kits and it faced criticism for the purchase of millions of kits that turned out to be significantly less effective than originally claimed by pharmaceutical companies.
In mid-July, Matt Hancock said the swabs in some kits were “not up to standard”.
The Department of Health has stressed that the safety risk is low and recalling the kits is a precautionary measure to remove the possibility of them being used in error.
Healthcare group Randox, based in County Antrim in Northern Ireland, claims to be responsible for up to 17% of the total tests carried out in the UK. About 1.3 million of its tests have been sent out so far.
Randox was awarded the £133 million contract in March to produce the testing kits for England, Wales and Northern Ireland without any other firms being given the opportunity to bid for the work.
Around 200,000 coronavirus tests are now being provided across the UK each day.
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