90-minute Covid tests to be rolled out from next week

Henrietta Brewer
August 6, 2020

Two new coronavirus tests that can return results in just over an hour are set to be released in the United Kingdom, the government has announced.

Britain is on track to deliver half a million COVID tests a day by the end of October and new 90-minute tests will allow the government to accelerate that target, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday.

The other is a DNA test that uses a machine from London-based firm DnaNudge to give results without the need to send them to a lab.

Speaking with talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer, Mr Zahawi said: "The response from United Kingdom innovators has been phenomenal and to have [test developers] Chris Toumazou and Gordon Sanghera - two great United Kingdom innovators - deliver this at the speed they have done it pretty remarkable".

"This is a game changer because the ability to do a test by just over an hour. or 90 minutes will make a massive difference to our response to coronavirus", Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi told the BBC.

"To be able to increase testing by 100-fold from March is a pretty impressive accomplishment".

Up to 5.8 million tests using DNA and 450,000 swab tests will be distributed to British hospitals, care homes, and laboratories to boost capacity in the coming months, Hancock said.

Gordon Sanghera, chief executive of Oxford Nanopore, said: "LamPORE has the potential to deliver a highly effective and, crucially, accessible global testing solution, not only for COVID-19 but for a range of other pathogens".

Millions more of the tests, supplied by Oxford Nanopore, are set to be rolled out later in the year.

TWO tests which can detect if you have coronavirus or flu - with results promised in just 90 minutes - are to be rolled out in hospitals and care homes.

Developed by DnaNudge, thousands of machines called Nudgeboxes will be deployed to analyse nose swabs for COVID-19 within 90 minutes.

The current tests also take a substantial amount of time to be processed, with most people taking between 24 and 72 hours to receive their results.

The testing kits may also be introduced to "non-traditional settings" such as schools or could be used in hospitals to provide regular testing of staff.

One woman took to her local community page recently, saying she visited a clinic on Lillian Ave, Salisbury for a COVID-19 test and was upset to see the toll the surge of testing had on staff.

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