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Used Covid-19 nasal swabs handed out to students by bungling council testers

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Around 25 used coronavirus testing swabs were mistakenly handed out to students as part of a local collect service.

Seven households in Selly Oak, Birmingham, were given the used kits as part of the council's 'drop and collect' service on Tuesday)

Students were concerned they had contracted coronavirus after they opened the swab tests to discover sealed bags were inside.

Some of the bags had names and addresses written on the plastic.

Birmingham City Council carried out an investigation overnight and claim there was "no evidence of cross-contamination", reports the BBC.

A spokesperson added the error involved seven houses and only the outer packaging of one kit was opened.

The nasal swabs were handed out as part of the city's 'drop and collect' scheme, aimed at increasing testing in areas with high rates of Covid-19 infection.

Under the service, volunteers visit households to offer tests on the doorstep before returning an hour later to collected the completed Covid test kits.

Approximately 100 military personnel are working with Birmingham City council on the scheme, but have been confirmed to not be involved in the mistake.

  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock 'lacks basic understanding of coronavirus', say scientists

News of the blunder emerged today when a Birmingham University student warned others of the error on a Facebook page.

She wrote: "Anyone on [Tiverton road] given a Covid test by guys in high-vis jackets, don't open!"

"They've already been done – we opened up the box and they were sealed and snapped so had obviously been used!"

Sophie Dunne, another student, told university paper, Redbrick, several students emerged from their homes to alert volunteers to the error.

She claims they were told to 'not put it on social media'.

Ms Dunne said officials returned five minutes later to collect the coronavirus tests, but not until one kit had been opened already by her housemate.

Birmingham is placed under the second tier of the new three-tier lockdown system, which came into force across England today.

The city, which currently has 167.4 coronavirus cases per 100,00 people, faces harsher restrictions on socialising between households.

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