Experts call for end of rapid Covid tests in universities and care homes in England

Experts have called for an end to the use of rapid coronavirus tests in universities and care homes, after government figures from the mass testing programme in Liverpool revealed the tests missed 30% of those with a high viral load.

a group of people in a room: Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

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Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

The figures showed that the rapid tests identified just five out of 10 positive cases which had been detected by standard coronavirus tests, and seven out of 10 of those with high quantities of the virus.

The rapid tests, also known as lateral flow tests, provide much quicker results than standard tests. This speed has led to their use in care homes to allow family members to visit, and in universities to allow students to return home for Christmas.

Related: Christmas Covid testing for UK students a ‘recipe for chaos’, says union

Allyson Pollock, professor of public health at Newcastle University,

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COVID-19 could cost Canadian universities millions, even billions: Statistics Canada

MONTREAL – Canadian universities could lose as much as $3.4 billion this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada has projected, in large part due to a decrease in the number of foreign students.

In a report published this week, Statistics Canada tried to estimate university budget losses for the 2020-2021 school year.

Tuition fees make up an increasingly large portion of university revenues, the agency said. In 2013-2014, tuition fees accounted for 24.7 per cent of school funding, while they made up 29.4 per cent in 2018-2019.

The largest portion of university revenue comes from government funding, at 45.8 per cent.

Statistics Canada said the increase in the proportion of tuition fees was caused by a growing number of foreign students, who pay higher tuition — almost five times as much as Canadian citizens.

In 2017-2018, foreign students alone paid about 40 per cent of all tuition fees.

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