The Health Secretary announced a trial of 20-minute Covid tests in population.
For making Britain back to normal life, the regular Covid checks are set to be piloted as part of a £500 million effort to use mass testing. The Health Secretary announced that the funding package will support trials of 20-minute Covid tests and efforts to explore the benefits of repeatedly testing people for the virus.
The money will be used to go launching a new community-wide repeat population testing trial in Salford, Greater Manchester. The teachers will set to testing weekly as part of preparations for routine checks on people with no symptoms.
Not only that, existing trials in Southampton and Hampshire, which use a no-swab saliva test and a rapid 20-minute test, will also be expanded through the new funding. In Southampton, the second phase of a no-swab saliva test pilot is due to begin this week. A weekly testing model will be trialled with more than 2,100 pupils and staff across four schools. The work is led by a partnership of the University of Southampton, Southampton City Council and the NHS.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that saliva-based testing will be used for the pilot in Salford. It will involve the city council and other local partners: up to 250 tests a day will be performing by a select number of residents who invited for a weekly test. The initial focus will be on high footfall areas of Salford, such as retail areas, public services, transport and faith spaces.
The test aim will identify the positive cases result early including someone who has no or minor symptoms. So that people can self-isolate early.
The DHSC said, « In Hampshire, the pilot of a rapid 20-minute coronavirus test will be expanded to further explore the applications of mobile testing in different settings ».
Baroness Dido Harding, interim executive chairwoman of the National Institute for Health Protection (the body replacing Public Health England), said: « New testing technologies and methods are vital to keeping the system evolving and improving, especially as we assess how routine testing could help pick up cases of the virus earlier ». She also added that they will continue to scale up their testing capacity by expanding the network of testing sites and investing in new technologies to reach even more people through NHS Test and Trace.
The Health Secretary’s words
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: « Testing is a vital line of defence in combating this pandemic. Over the past six months, we have built almost from scratch one of the biggest testing systems in the world ».
Hancock added that « we need to use every new innovation at our disposal to expand the use of testing, and build the mass testing capability that can help suppress the virus and enable more of the things that make life worth living ».
He also explained that « innovative new tests that are fast, accurate and easier to use will maximise the impact and scale of testing, helping us to get back to a more normal way of life ».
Over the past 6 months we’ve built one of the biggest testing capacities in the world
I’m delighted to commit £500 million investment into extra new innovative tests to make further strides forward in our national effort against #coronavirus
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) September 3, 2020