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UK will provide millions of 90-minute COVID-19 tests over the coming months

Tests will be rolled out ahead of the winter months

Clinical testing

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care will roll out millions of 90-minute coronavirus tests ahead of winter in a bid to tackle infections later this year.

The two new tests are able to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, within 90 minutes. According to the DHSC, the tests will be able to detect both COVID-19 and other winter viruses including flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The tests do not require a trained healthcare professional to administer them, so they can be easily rolled out in a number of non-clinical settings such as care homes.

One of the tests uses DNA to detect the virus and will become available in NHS hospitals from September, along with 5,000 DNA machines which will be supplied by DnaNudge. This totals 5.8 million tests over the next few months.

In addition to the DNA tests, 450,000 LamPORE swab tests will also be made available across adult care settings and laboratories from next week, and will be supplied by Oxford Nanopore. Further LamPORE tests will be rolled out later in the year to tackle infections in the winter months.

The LamPORE test is able to process swab and saliva samples to detect the presence of COVID-19 in as little as 60-90 minutes.

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

“We are delighted to be working with the UK government to support and empower our communities to effectively manage testing at a national and localised level,” he added.

According to the BBC, currently three-quarters of test results are returned within 24 hours, while a quarter can take up to two days.

At the moment, coronavirus tests are available at ‘drive-through’ or walk-in sites, and at hospitals for patients and certain NHS staff.

“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,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

“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,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

3rd August 2020

From: Healthcare

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