Full, accurate and complete disclosure of SARS-COV-2 virus isolation records

Marc Horn made this Freedom of Information request to Public Health England

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The request was successful.

Dear Public Health England,

Please provide a full, accurate and complete list of records held within your office, and or under your authority, describing the isolation of a SARS-COV-2 virus, directly taken from a symptomatic patient of COVID-19 where the sample was not first combined with any other source of genetic material (not limited but by way of example monkey kidney cells, aka vero cells, liver cancer cells) thereby eliminating contamination as a possible alternative source of sampling.
Please note isolation is used in the normally understood meaning of the word – the act of separating a thing from another. I am not referring, and hence not requesting, to isolation meaning the culture of something else, the performance of an amplification test (eg PCR test which only detect mRNA or DNA) or the sequencing of “something”.
If any records match the above description and are available to the public elsewhere, please provide enough information so that I may identify and access each record with certainty (i.e. title, author(s), date, journal, and weblink or location where the public may access it).
I remind you full, accurate and complete disclosure is required.

Yours faithfully,

Marc Horn

FOI, Public Health England

Dear Marc Horn

We acknowledge receipt of your email and request for information, which will be treated as a request for information under statutory access legislation.

Please note that requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) will receive a response within 20 working days from the day following the date of receipt of your request.

If the request is for your personal data, your request has been handled as a data subject access request (SAR) under Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), then we will respond  within one month of the receipt of the request.

Public Health England (PHE) is responsible for providing guidance and advice to government and front-line services for all aspects of public health.  It is a designated Category 1 responder organisation under the Civil Contingency Act and this specifically includes the COVID-19 response, providing clinical expertise and wider public health advice and guidance across national and local government, the NHS and third sector.  As such, you may experience delays when making statutory information access requests during the pandemic.

We will aim to address all requests promptly and within the required response timeframes.  However when we are unable to meet the response timeframe we will keep requesters updated on a revised expected timescale for a response to their request. The Information Commissioner recognises this position in its recent guidance, see link: https://ico.org.uk/global/data-protectio....

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
www.gov.uk/phe   Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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FOI, Public Health England

1 Attachment

Dear Marc Horn

Please find attached Public Health England's response to your request.

Kind Regards
FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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