UK Government To Roll Out 200 million Rapid-Results Covid Test Kits

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
  • This will Allow Anyone Testing Negative To Get A ‘Freedom Pass’ To Attend Sporting Events And Concerts The Same Day

A rapid Covid test which costs just £5 could finally allow Britons back into concerts and sports events. The Government is reportedly set to buy 200 million of the tests which give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ result in 15 minutes.

A negative result would allow millions of people the freedom to socialise and experts say this could be key to moving away from strict coronavirus restrictions.

People who test negative could also receive a ‘day pass’ to go to the theatre, cinema or a sports event. Scientists have found the test can detect around three in four positive cases of Covid-19.

This accuracy goes up to 95 per cent when dealing with people who have a high viral load – which makes people most infectious. It drops sharply when people have low levels of the virus in their bodies.

Scientists have called for the public to be given lessons on how to correctly administer the test.  There are plans to buy more than 60 million rapid tests a month from January, according to The Daily Telegraph, with 192 million purchased in total by March.

A negative result would allow millions of people the freedom to socialise and experts say this could be key to moving away from strict coronavirus restrictions.

The tests are one of those at the heart of the Operation Moonshot pilot and could see the kits used in towns and cities across the UK to help the government get on top of the pandemic by the spring.

Public Health England and the University of Oxford have evaluated 40 lateral flow tests – similar to the ones being used in Liverpool – which are like pregnancy tests in the sense that they provide a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ result for Covid within minutes.

And it appears that the tests could be used on the 10 per cent of the population who are at greatest risk. It has been announced that 67 towns and cities will be given 600,000 tests.

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford, said: ‘These inexpensive, easy-to-use tests can play a major role in our fight against Covid-19.

“They identify those who are likely to spread the disease and when used systematically in mass testing could reduce transmissions by 90 per cent. They will be detecting the disease in large numbers of people who have never previously even received a test.”

Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at NHS Test and Trace, said such tests “are proving to be accurate and reliable. And, importantly they’re able to detect covid-19 in people without symptoms who could unknowingly be passing the virus onto others.”

Government ministers announced that relatives of care home residents will be tested for the virus so they can finally visit their isolated loved ones. An initial scheme will be rolled out across 30 care homes this month.

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll passed the grim milestone of 50,000 yesterday after health chiefs announced another 595 victims in the highest daily count since May.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the figures was a stark reminder that the UK ‘was not out of the woods yet’ despite promising news about a vaccine earlier this week. Officials say Covid fatalities will continue to rise for ‘several weeks’ due to high infection rates through October.

He warned that a vaccine will not deliver a ‘knockout blow’ to coronavirus as Tories insisted he must not use the prospect of jabs to keep the country in lockdown longer.


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