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LONDON (LifeSiteNews) – Britain’s national healthcare system (NHS) has updated its guidance for identifying COVID infections by adding nine additional symptoms to its list of signs someone might have the novel coronavirus.

The NHS website previously listed just three symptoms as being indicative of a COVID infection, namely a high temperature, a “new, continuous cough,” and “a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.”

Critics had previously voiced skepticism over the identification of COVID-19 by the above symptoms, given their similarity to those experienced while infected with a common cold or flu.

Now, the NHS has added nine additional items to its list of recognized COVID symptoms, namely “shortness of breath, feeling tired or exhausted, an aching body, a headache, a sore throat, a blocked or runny nose, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, feeling sick, or being sick.”

“The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu,” the NHS website admits before cautioning those who experience any of the listed symptoms to avoid contact with others and work from home, where possible.

According to The Times, Britain’s chief medical officer Chris Witty’s signature was required before the NHS could publish the update.

The adjustment comes days after the government removed its free COVID testing service in England. It now requires those who are not considered especially vulnerable to pay around £2 ($2.62) for a test kit. Before, “the provision of free tests was costing taxpayers £2 billion a month and that is simply unsustainable,” a Downing Street spokesman confirmed.

The reliability of COVID testing has long been disputed. The inventor of RT-PCR technology, the technique often used as the standard for COVID testing, stated in the 1990s that the test should not be used as a diagnostic tool.

“It [PCR testing] allows you to take a very minuscule amount of anything and make it measurable and then talk about it … like it is important … see that’s just a misinterpretation,” Kary Mullis, who died in 2019, explained.

“It doesn’t tell you that you’re sick and it doesn’t tell you that the thing you ended up with really was going to hurt you or anything like that.”

As the coronavirus crisis continues, U.K. data show that while the infection, hospitalization, and death rates among those who have not taken the abortion-tainted COVID shots continue to plummet, the “fully vaccinated” (and especially those who have taken a third booster shot) now account for the vast majority of such cases, with vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization for anyone over 80 years of age estimated to be just above zero percent.