Stacks of unused PCR test kits found dumped in Shrewsbury carpark

Dozens of unused PCR Covid-19 testing kits were found dumped in a Shrewsbury supermarket car park before Christmas, it has emerged.

What appear to be PCR kits were left dumped in a carpark. Video: Timothy Draycott
What appear to be PCR kits were left dumped in a carpark. Video: Timothy Draycott

Timothy Draycott, a transport delivery driver and author, discovered the piles of kits in the car park of ASDA in Shrewsbury, and recorded his find on video. He uploaded the video to YouTube on December 27 last year, at a time when the UK was experiencing increased pressure on testing due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

Timothy said: "I saw it originally on December 23, but I didn't think to video it, but it was there a few days later. I didn't want to touch any of it because you don't know what's on them."

Timothy's video shows piles of what appear to be unopened and unused PCR testing kits addressed to the supermarket. Address labels show the name Eurofins.

Eurofins is a private company specialising in Covid-19 testing.

A Eurofins Covid Testing Services spokesperson said this week: “On January 4, Eurofins Covid Testing Services learned that testing process material had been improperly disposed of at the ASDA Shrewsbury car park by a subcontractor. Eurofins Covid Testing Services acted immediately to investigate the incident. We determined this unfortunate incident was isolated, and have deployed comprehensive additional safeguards to avoid improper disposal in the future.

"All materials left behind at the site have been examined and cleared. Only consumable material supporting the testing process was left behind, none of the materials were customer samples and none contained identifiable personal or medical information. Eurofins is wholly committed to patients’ privacy, safety, and wellbeing and we will continue to audit our systems to ensure patient safety and confidentiality. Furthermore Eurofins Covid Testing Services continues to have sufficient capacity to support Covid-19 testing in the communities we serve."

The video also shows cardboard boxes and various other general litter, as well as some office furniture and a test drop-box bearing the name Eurofins, all abandoned in the ASDA car park.

An Asda spokesperson said: “We were disappointed when we saw items were left behind once the mobile testing site had left as there are protocols we expect third parties to meet when using our car parks, however we are pleased that this has been cleared up quickly and disposed of correctly.”

This drop-box was also left in the carpark. Video: Timothy Draycott

They confirmed that the Eurofins site was a private site, and was not being run in connection with the NHS Test and Trace programme or the UK Government.

The UK HSA further added that UK Government capacity for PCR testing remains good, despite speculation to the contrary.

The amount of time people with Covid-19 in England have to spend in self-isolation is to be cut to five full days, the Health Secretary announced on Thursday.

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