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UK to roll out millions of express Covid-19 tests

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The government of the United Kingdom will roll out millions of express coronavirus tests capable of yielding results in only 90 minutes.

The tests will be available to residents of nursing homes as well as in laboratories throughout Britain from next week.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the tests would be “hugely beneficial” during the oncoming winter period as they will also be able to detect the influenza virus, responsible for the flu, and other seasonal illnesses.

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Current coronavirus tests in the UK give results in a span of at least 24 hours and at most 48, the BBC reports.

A total of 5.8 million of the new swab tests, called LamPORE, will be rolled out in coming weeks alongside 5,000 DNA test machines as the UK boosts efforts to beat back the pandemic.

Britain is currently the second country in the world with the highest incident of Covid-19 deaths, ahead of the US, Brazil and Mexico and just behind Belgium.

Hancock said that the new tests would be key to the government’s efforts of breaking up transmission chains more rapidly.

Their rolling-out comes after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed the easing of the coronavirus lockdown, set to come at the weekend, for at least two weeks, amid rising contagion rates in Britain.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times