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New 90 minute coronavirus test announced ahead of winter pressure

PUBLISHED: 09:26 03 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:51 03 August 2020

An example of swab testing taking place.(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

An example of swab testing taking place.(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

A new coronavirus test which aims to deliver results within 90 minutes is set to be available in hospitals, care homes and laboratories.

Following the new announcement from the government which has been made ahead of the UK heading into winter, here is the latest on testing.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “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.

More: Which coronavirus lockdown easing plans have been postponed?

What are the new tests?

The Department of Health has announced a new swab and DNA test as part of efforts to deal with the virus in winter.

From next week almost half a million LamPORE swabs will be available across adult care settings and laboratories.

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.

How many different types of Covid-19 tests are there?

There are currently two main tests used to detect coronavirus infection: nasal/throat swabs and finger-prick blood tests.

The swab test, which involves a deep swab of the nose or the back of the throat, is used to determine whether someone is currently infected with Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the finger-prick test is used to identify the presence of Covid-19 antibodies in a person’s blood, which would signify prior infection.

More: Local lockdown ‘last resort’ for fresh Norfolk coronavirus outbreak

What are some of the problems with the current testing methods?

The current tests have raised concerns over accuracy and reliability of the antibody tests as well as the invasiveness of the swab test.

The current tests also take between 24 and 72 hours to receive their results.

More: What does the end of shielding mean for people in Norfolk?

What is different about the new tests?

The speed of the new test has prompted excitement from the government and that it can detect other seasonal illnesses as well as coronavirus.

It is hoped during winter the tests will be able to quickly and easily identify whether sufferers will need to self-isolate and boost to contact-tracing capabilities.


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