Two new 90-minute tests for COVID-19 are being rolled out ahead of winter. So why might rapid testing make so much difference and can these tests deliver on what’s being promised?
On 3rd August, the UK government announced it would roll out two new rapid coronavirus tests ahead of winter. The tests – both able to detect the virus in less than 90 minutes – will be introduced to hospitals, care homes, labs, and a range of non-clinical settings.
As well as speeding up the process, the tests will be able to distinguish between COVID-19 and other winter viruses such as flu. Since these conditions have similar symptoms, but different implications (flu doesn’t require self-isolation, for instance), it’s important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible.
“We’re using the most innovative technologies available to tackle coronavirus,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock. “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 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.”
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