Tags: Coronavirus | britain | johnson | coronavirus | testing

UK's Johnson Promises 'Massive' COVID-19 Test Expansion

boris johnson's hands are clasped at a podium in front of the british flag.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson  announces Onct. Oct. 31, 2020, a new four week lockdown across England. (  Alberto Pezzali-Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 01 November 2020 08:08 AM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is promising a “massive” expansion of rapid turnaround COVID-19 tests in Britain’s effort to reduce the surging virus there, the Daily Mail reported. 

Johnson announced plans Saturday to draft the army to oversee the roll-out of tests for “whole cities” to “drive down the disease,” and said the fast-turnaround tests could give a result in a matter of minutes.

“We now have the immediate prospect of using many millions of cheap, reliable and, above all, rapid turnaround tests,” he said at a news conference, the Daily Mail reported.

“Over next few days, weeks, we plan a steady but massive expansion in the deployment of these quick turnaround tests, applying them in an ever-growing number of situations from helping women to have their partners with them in labor wards when they're giving birth, to testing whole towns and even whole cities,” he said, the Mail reported.

Johnson said trials around the country has proven “we can use these tests, not just to locate infections in people, but to drive down the disease.”

Among the tests being rolled out are “loop-mediated isothermal amplification” — known as lamp tests — that use a swab and saliva method to deliver results in 60 to 90 minutes.

Unlike the “gold-standard” PCR testing system, lamp tests don’t need to be processed in a lab, the Daily Mail noted.

Also, a lateral flow test using the same technology commonly used for pregnancy tests can detect antibodies in a patient's blood indicating they have COVID-19 or have had the disease and recovered. It requires a drop of blood from a finger prick and can give a result within 15 minutes, the Mail reported.

Rapid coronavirus tests that use saliva, work in minutes and cost less than $38 to reach Johnson’s goal of 10 million tests a day, the Mail reported.

Government pilots involving “lab in a van” tests by the companies Oxford Nanopore , OptiGene and DNANudge are already underway, the Mail reported.

In addition, British biotech company Halo has unveiled a saliva test which it says provides results in under seven hours, delivered through a phone app.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is promising a "massive" expansion of rapid turnaround COVID-19 tests in Britain's effort to reduce the surging virus there, the Daily Mail reported. Johnson announced plans Saturday to draft the army to oversee the roll-out of tests...
britain, johnson, coronavirus, testing
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2020-08-01
Sunday, 01 November 2020 08:08 AM
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