New 90-minute tests for flu and Coronavirus set to be rolled out in the UK

August 4th, 2020
New 90-minute tests for flu and Coronavirus set to be rolled out in the UK

A new rapid test for Coronavirus and flu is set to be rolled out in the UK.
From next week (Monday 10th August), the tests, which deliver results in 90 minutes, will be available in care homes and laboratories. The on-the-spot swab tests will help to distinguish between COVID-19 and seasonal illnesses, including flu. It is hoped that providing tests in adult care settings and laboratories will help to speed up treatment responses and reduce the spread of infection, which will be particularly important in the winter.
At the moment, 75% of COVID-19 tests are returned within 24 hours, with the remaining 25% producing results within 2 days.
The government has confirmed that almost 500,000 of the LamPORE raid swab tests will be made available from next week, with millions more set to be provided in care homes and laboratory settings before the end of the year. Thousands of DNA test machines, which are used to analyse nose swabs, will also be made available in hospitals across the country from September. The machines are already in use in eight London hospitals. The Department of Health has indicated that 5,000 machines will be put into action offering capacity for 5.8 million tests.
Information about the accuracy of the new LamPORE swab tests is not yet available to the public, but Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, Sir John Bell, suggested that they offer the same level of sensitivity as lab tests that are currently in use. Sir John Bell has been advising the government on testing and believes that the new test will have a very positive impact, particularly as winter looms and the risk of seasonal infections increases.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, described the latest testing development as “life-saving” and said that the rapid tests would help to “break chains of transmission quickly” and protect vulnerable individuals. The tests determine a diagnosis swiftly, enabling care teams to recommend suitable treatment options as quickly as possible and take steps to reduce the spread of infection if a positive COVID-19 result is confirmed.

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