Mass-15 Minute Covid Test Trial to Launch in Liverpool

From Friday this week, Liverpool will become the first city in the UK to introduce rapid response regular mass testing. Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson told the Today Programme this morning that¬†“we would envisage that teaching staff could be tested every week and pupils in secondary schools tested every week.” Hospitals, teaching establishments, and universities are to be among the settings that receive regular tests by default, contacts of infected people will also be asked to test, and other citizens will be able to go into testing centres if they choose to.

The new “lateral flow tests” allow results almost instantaneously without needing to be sent off to a laboratory – bringing results within around fifteen minutes. This means that not only will more people be tested, crucially people will not have to wait days to hear their results. Regular asymptomatic testing avoids the problem of people being asked to quarantine if they just, for example, passed someone in a shop. People are far more likely to quarantine if they can see they actually have the disease. It will also mean a far smaller number of people actually have to quarantine…

Government scientist Sir John Bell told the Today Programme this morning that the tests are both cheap and reliable. They have been kept relatively quiet since July in order to rigorously verify them. The tests have now been deemed 99.9% specific, meaning only one in a thousand tested would be a false positive.

As Boris said in the Commons yesterday, this rapid mass testing programme is being organised by the army and the tests are being made in the UK. If all goes well in Liverpool it could start to be rolled out across the UK by the end of lockdown 2, genuinely changing the game…

mdi-tag-outline Liverpool Test and Trace
mdi-timer November 3 2020 @ 09:02 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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