Coronavirus: New 90-minute tests for Covid-19 and flu 'hugely beneficial'

BBC

3rd August, 2020 02:26:18 printer

Coronavirus: New 90-minute tests for Covid-19 and flu 'hugely beneficial'

New 90-minute tests that can detect coronavirus and flu will be rolled out in care homes and laboratories from next week.

The "on-the-spot" swab and DNA tests will help distinguish between Covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses, the government said.

The health secretary said this would be "hugely beneficial" over the winter.

Currently, three quarters of test results are returned within 24 hours and a quarter can take up to two days.

The announcement comes as the government pushed back a July target to regularly test care home staff and residents, saying the number of testing kits had become more limited.

Almost half a million of the new rapid swab tests will be available from next week in adult care settings and laboratories, with millions more due to be rolled out later in the year.

There is currently no publicly available data on the accuracy of the new tests.

Additionally, thousands of DNA test machines, which have already been used in eight London hospitals and can analyse nose swabs, will be rolled out across NHS hospitals from September.

Around 5,000 machines will provide 5.8 million tests in the coming months, the department said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock described these latest innovations in coronavirus testing as "life-saving".

He added: "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."

 


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