As part of continuing efforts to bolster the UK’s national testing capacity, the UK Government has ordered two million units of the first British-manufactured rapid lateral flow antigen tests for Covid-19.
These tests will be used in a newly-launched asymptomatic testing drive.
Produced by a Derby-based company, the initial two million lateral flow tests, which can provide a Covid-19 result within 30 minutes of administering a test, are expected to be delivered by Friday January 15, 2021.
The company manufacturing them has committed to being able to deliver millions more in the coming months.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is excellent to be working with a UK firm to deliver millions of these rapid tests, which are being deployed across the country to help protect our communities and most vital public services.
“Roughly one in three people with Covid-19 don’t display symptoms, meaning you can infect others unknowingly.
“This is why asymptomatic testing is so crucial in our fight against the virus, and why I’m so grateful to see the British diagnostics industry use their ingenuity and expertise in our shared purpose to protect our communities.”
Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) Baroness Dido Harding added: “I am really pleased that we have been able to work to ensure we have a British supplier for this vital testing technology.
“Lateral Flow Tests are playing an ever-increasing role in our testing programme as we continue to expand testing to find positive cases amongst those without symptoms.
“Having a British manufacturer provides greater certainty that we will be able to continue to grow our supply of these important tests.”