UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that the country will launch two new tests which can detect the novel coronavirus in 90 minutes in hospitals, care homes and laboratories, it was reported on Monday.
The Department of Health said on Sunday that the swab and DNA tests will help deal with the virus in winter, enabling clinicians and NHS Test and Trace to differentiate between COVID-19, which requires sufferers to undergo specific self-isolation, and other seasonal illnesses.
Almost half a million new LamPORE swab tests will be available from next week across adult care settings and laboratories.
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.
Some 5,000 machines, supplied by DnaNudge, will provide 5.8 million tests in the coming months, the Department 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 Metro newspaper quoted Hancock as saying.
“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.”
As of Monday, the UK has reported a total of 306,317 COVID-19 cases, with 46,286 deaths.