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

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New 90-minute tests for the detection of coronavirus and flu will be introduced in nursing homes and laboratories next week.

The "on-site" swab and DNA tests will help differentiate between Covid-19 and other seasonal diseases, the government said.

The health minister said this was "extremely 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 when the government pushed back a July target to regularly test nursing home staff and residents. The number of test kits has decreased.

Nearly half a million of the new LamPORE rapid swab tests will be available in adult care facilities and laboratories next week. Millions more will be introduced later in the year.

In addition, as of September, thousands of DNA testing devices that have been used in eight London hospitals and can analyze nasal swabs will be launched in all NHS hospitals.

Around 5,000 machines will perform 5.8 million tests in the coming months, according to the Ministry of Health.

There is currently no publicly available data on the accuracy of the new tests, but Sir John Bell, Regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, who advised the government on tests, said they had the same "sensitivity" as the current laboratory tests .

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

He added: "Millions of new rapid corona virus tests deliver on-site results in less than 90 minutes and help us break through transmission chains quickly.

"The fact that these tests can detect both flu and Covid-19 will be very beneficial in winter, so patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others."

Economics Minister Nadhim Zahawi told BBC Breakfast that 450,000 Oxford Nanopore LamPORE tests will be launched next week. DnaNudge test devices will then be deployed to the NHS labs and other environments to provide 5.8 million tests in the coming months.

analysis

By Lauren Moss, health correspondent

A great deal of attention has been paid to how long it can take for the Covid test results to become available again, and how this can help curb the spread of the virus.

A total of three quarters of the results are now returned within 24 hours, but some can take up to two days.

The new rapid tests that can be used to analyze swabs in mobile pop-up laboratories and achieve results in 90 minutes are of enormous importance.

No data has yet been released on the accuracy of these tests, but the people behind them state that controls are in place to test for false negative results.

Another big advantage is that the tests can detect other winter illnesses like the flu, so doctors know whether someone with coronavirus symptoms has the virus or something else.

It comes as:

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The announcement comes as people are encouraged to "eat out to help" and offer 50% off meals to support restaurants, cafes, and pubs

Coronavirus testing is currently being conducted in transit or walk-in locations, as well as in hospitals for patients and some NHS employees.

Home test kits can also be delivered to someone else's door so people can test themselves. Swab samples are analyzed in a laboratory before the result is passed on to the person.

Unlike other seasonal diseases, people infected with Covid-19 must isolate themselves for 10 days.

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Media signatureBBC Reality Check examines why testing is important

Regular tests of residents and nursing home staff should have started on July 6th However, officials said that this may not happen until the end of the first week of September.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said, "A combination of factors has resulted in a limited number of test kits, mostly used in nursing homes, being available for asymptomatic re-testing. We work with providers 24/7 to restore them . " Capacity."

Last month, the government withdrew a brand of home test kits that are used in nursing homes for safety reasons.

In the meantime, researchers are urgently appealing to recovered patients to donate their blood plasma Part of a big process To investigate how effective blood plasma transfusion can be in patients who have difficulty developing their own immune response to Covid-19.

Another eight deaths were reported in the UK on Sunday, bringing the total number of people who died after a positive virus test to 46,201. However, due to delays in reporting, weekend numbers tend to be lower.

The latest government statistics In addition, 744 new cases were confirmed in the 24 hours until 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.


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