Care homes have been warned to destroy a batch of faulty COVID-19 test kits over safety fears.
The kits, which were manufactured by China based company Citotest and distributed under the care home testing programme, were found to have faulty swabs that could snap, The Guardian reported.
Care homes have been advised to destroyed the faulty kits or keep them in a safe area marked with warnings that they are not for use.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Testing is unaffected and people should still arrive for their booked tests.
“We are aware of an issue with one batch of swab sticks which are being replaced where needed but this does not affect any tests, or the results of tests, previously taken.”
The news comes after the government faced allegations of “fiddling the figures” on care home tests after operators reported receiving more kits than they ordered.
After widespread complaints over a lack of testing and problems with the care home programme, the government announced it had met its target of offering tests to every elderly service in England at the beginning of this month.
Even this claim was disputed, however, with Labour shadow care minister, Liz Kendall, arguing the target had been shifted from having all staff and residents tested to having tests delivered.
Care home leaders, meanwhile, continue to call for regular testing of staff and residents to avoid a second wave of the virus.
Concerns have also been raised about the lack of testing for people with a learning disability in care services.