New instant COVID-19 test being trialled

A coronavirus test that can yield results within 20 minutes is being tested in the UK, said health secretary Matt Hancock.

The new swab test does not need to be sent to a lab and will show if someone has the virus, the Subway.

The announcement came during today’s press conference, with Mr. Hancock also saying that more than 10 million antibody tests will be rolled out next week.

He added the new swab test developed by OptiGene, “it is interesting to us because it is so fast”.

“You get the result on the spot, usually within about 20 minutes. It has already been proven in early tests and we now want to know if it will be effective on a larger scale.”

“If it works, we’ll roll it out as soon as possible.”

Mr. Hancock further said that his department is working with “many top names” to help get a “quick turnaround” for coronavirus results, including Oxford Namapor, Enchromomcis and DNANudge.

He added: “We have already placed the building blocks, we have developed the tests, we have built the test centers and laboratory capacity, we have made the home test kits.

“All of this gives us clarity and certainty. We passed the 100,000 tests in time when we said we would, but we always strive to go further.”

The swab tests will initially be tested in Hampshire in A&E departments, GP test hubs and nursing homes. The trial will test up to 4,000 people and will last six weeks.

The health secretary has made it clear that there may be risks.

“It is now very important to be clear about this. Working with innovative science always has its risks. As with all R&D, many projects fail.

“And just like vaccines, which we don’t know we will ever get, but I am willing to support innovative developments, even if they may never happen.

“I think it’s worth it, and I think especially in these circumstances it is worth supporting things before you know for sure if they will work, and I don’t apologize for that.”


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