UK puts on trial invention to test COVID-19 in 20 minutes

Published: 22 May 2020 Updated: 23 May 2020   

Online Desk

Britain has announced it put on trial a just invented mechanism that could confirm on the spot in 20 minutes time if someone is infected with novel coronavirus, without requiring samples to be sent to laboratories, the BBC reported.


“You get the result on the spot . . . it is so fast,” BCC quoted UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock as saying at a briefing at the London’s Downing Street.

The top British health ministry executive said the new swab test, which would show whether someone currently carried the virus, “does not need to be sent to a lab”.

He said the new invention would be trialled in Hampshire in some A&E departments, GP testing hubs and care homes and the trial will run for six weeks and test up to 4,000 people.

“We want to find out if it will be effective on a larger scale. If it works, we’ll roll it out as soon as we can,” Hancock said.

The existing time consuming and complicated swab tests are already available everywhere which involve taking a swab up the nose or from the back of the throat and indicate if a person currently has Covid-19.

Currently samples are needed to be sent off to a laboratory and then take several hours to process forcing most people to wait for days for their test results.

BBC commented that if the process could be speeded up that would be a major benefit, not just for the testing programme, but also the tracking and tracing.

“The quicker you can identify positive cases the more effective you can be in trying to contain spread,” the report said.

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