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Coronavirus, flu 90-min tests ready next week

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ON-THE-SPOT  test equipment for coronavirus and flu capable of providing results in 90 minutes are to be rolled out across hospitals, care homes and laboratories from next week.

  UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock described the breakthrough as “life-saving” and said the tests will help contain the spread of COVID-19 this time.

  According to the British Department of Health, “the rapid swab and DNA tests will help clinicians and NHS Test and Trace staff distinguish between coronavirus and other seasonal illnesses.

  This could prevent patients from unnecessarily self-isolating for an illness that is not COVID-19.

  Report says, nearly half a million new LamPORE swab tests will be available from next week across adult care settings and laboratories while millions more of the tests, supplied by Oxford Nanopore, are set to be rolled out later in the year.

  Meanwhile, 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.

  “Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will provide on-the-spot results within 90 minutes, helping us to break chains of transmission quickly,” Hancock said.

  Explaining further, Mattok said the DNA and swab tests aim at helping clinicians differentiate between coronavirus and other seasonal illnesses.

  “The fact these tests can detect flu as well as COVID-19 will be hugely beneficial as we head into cold season, so, patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others.

  “I am hugely grateful for the excellent work done by DnaNudge and Oxford Nanopore to push forward these life-saving innovations in coronavirus testing.”

  Some 5,000 machines, supplied by DnaNudge, will provide 5.8 million tests in the coming months while ‘Let’s Get Back’ campaign by NHS would commence to aid testing through NHS Test and Trace. The Department of Health said.

  According to Co-founder of DnaNudge and founder of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London, Professor Chris Toumazou, “the DnaNudge team worked with incredible speed and skill during the peak of the pandemic to deliver this highly accurate, rapid COVID-19 test, which requires absolutely no laboratory or pipettes and can be deployed anywhere with a direct sample-to-result in around just over an hour.”

  CEO of Oxford Nanopore, Gordon Sanghera, 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.”

  The new tests were announced hours after the DHSC was forced to deny that it had abandoned its pledge to regularly test care home residents through the summer.

  According to a leaked memo from the government’s adult social care testing director, revealed by the Sunday Times, Professor Jane Cummings wrote to local authority leaders to inform them that “previously advised timelines for rolling out regular testing in care homes” were being altered because of “unexpected delays.”

  Regular testing of residents and staff was meant to have started on July 6 but will now be pushed back until September 7 for older people and those with dementia, according to media report.

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