Business minister Nadhim Zahawi has praised British ingenuity in the development of two new coronavirus tests that can produce results within hours.
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 and other seasonal illnesses, the Department of Health said.
Almost half a million new LamPORE swab tests will be available from next week across adult care settings and laboratories, with millions more set to be rolled out later in the year.
Meanwhile, 5,000 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.
Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Mr Zahawi said: “The response from UK innovators has been phenomenal and to have [test developers] Chris Toumazou and Gordon Sanghera – two great UK innovators – deliver this at the speed they have done it pretty remarkable.
“The ability to conduct tests within 90 minutes without clinical training required will be a game changer – I am confident of that.”
The Conservative MP also defended the government’s testing record, after some regular care home testing had reportedly seen unexpected delays.
“To be able to increase testing by 100-fold from March is a pretty impressive accomplishment. That doesn’t mean that we don’t look back and learn the lessons or that things don’t quite go to plan.”
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