Public Health England Has No Evidence of SARS-COV2 Isolation and its connection to COVID-19

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/679566/response/1625332/attach/html/2/872%20FOI%20All%20records%20describing%20isolation%20of%20SARS%20COV%202.pdf.html

Public Accountability Unit 
  T  020 8327 6920 
Wellington House 

133-155 Waterloo Road 

London SE1 8UG 
www.gov.uk/phe 

By email 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx 

Our ref: 24/07/hf/872 
20 August 2020 
Dear Andrew Johnson, 

Re: Documents held showing SARS-COV2 has been isolated and Causes 
COVID-19 

Thank you for your email dated 24 July 2020. In accordance with Section 1(1)(a) of 
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), I can confirm that Public Health 
England (PHE) does not hold the information you have specified.   

Your Request 
All records in the possession, custody or control of Public Health England  
describing the isolation of a SARS-COV-2 virus, directly from a sample taken 
from a diseased patient, where the patient sample was not first combined with 
any other source of genetic material (i.e. monkey kidney cells aka vero cells; 
liver cancer cells). 
 
Please note that I am using “isolation” in the every-day sense of the word: the 
act of separating a thing(s) from everything else. I am not requesting records 
where “isolation of SARS-COV-2” refers *instead* to: 
 
• the culturing of something, or 
• the performance of an amplification test (i.e. a PCR test), or • the sequencing 
of something. 
 
Please also note that my request is not limited to records that were authored 
by the PHE or that pertain to work done by the PHE. My request includes any 
sort of record, for example (but not limited to) any published peer-reviewed 
study that the PHE has downloaded or printed. 
 
Please provide enough information about each record so that I may identify 
and access each record with certainty (i.e. title, author(s), date, journal, where 
the public may access it).”  
 
Response 
PHE can confirm it does not hold information in the way suggested by your request. 

Under section 16 of the Act, public authorities have a duty to provide advice and 
assistance. I have signposted you to the below links which contain information on 
taking COVID-19 swabs. 


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-taking-swab-
samples 
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/types-and-uses-of-coronavirus-covid-
19-tests/types-and-uses-of-coronavirus-covid-19-tests 

Additionally, the below publication contains some information on virus isolation: 
https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-
7917.ES.2020.25.32.2001483 

If you have any queries regarding the information that has been supplied to you, 
please refer your query to in writing in the first instance. If you remain dissatisfied 
and would like to request an internal review, then please contact us at the address 
above or by emailing xxx@xxx.xxx.xx.

Please note that you have the right to an independent review by the Information 
Commissioner’s Office if a complaint cannot be resolved through the PHE 
complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner’s Office can be contacted by 
writing to Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, 
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  

Yours sincerely, 
FOI Team