Public Health

03.08.20

New rapid coronavirus tests to be rolled out ahead of winter

Two new rapid coronavirus tests will be rolled out across NHS hospitals, care homes and labs from next week, able to detect Covid-19 and other winter viruses.

The new tests, which are purportedly able to detect the viruses within just 90 minutes, will hugely increase testing capacity ahead of the winter period, delivering fast results that will help to break chains of transmission quickly.

Millions of tests have been secured for use by the NHS and health and care sector. The tests will enable clinicians and NHS Test and Trace to quickly advise on the best course of action to stop emerging hotspots of the virus.

The tests do not require a trained professional to operate them, meaning they can be rolled out in more non-clinical settings.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We’re using the most innovative technologies available to tackle coronavirus. Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will provide on-the-spot results in under 90 minutes, helping us to break chains of transmission quickly.

“The fact these tests can detect flu as well as Covid-19 will be hugely beneficial as we head into winter, so patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others.

“I am hugely grateful for the excellent work [which has been] done to push forward these life-saving innovations in coronavirus testing.”

A new test that uses DNA to detect the virus will be rolled out across NHS hospitals from September, with 5,000 DNA machines also supplied, to provide 5.8 million tests in the coming months.

Separately, 450,000 90-minute swab tests will also be available across adult care setting and laboratories from next week.

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