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The Sunday Telegraph reported the test samples were sent to the U.S. last week on chartered flights after a problem arose at the U.K. lab.
“The expansion of the U.K.’s coronavirus testing network has involved setting up an entirely new ‘Lighthouse’ lab network to process test swabs,” a Department of Health spokeswoman told Sky News.
“When problems arise, we have contingencies in place, which include creating extra temporary capacity for our labs or sending swabs abroad to partner labs for completion,” the spokeswoman said.
“Of course, our partner labs must match our high standards.”
Test results will be validated in the U.K. before being sent to patients “as quickly as possible,” Sky News reported.
The U.K. has recorded at least 216,526 positive coronavirus cases and more than 31,000 deaths – making it the hardest-hit country in Europe. Only the U.S. has recorded more deaths.