UK: millions of tests to come thanks to new technologies

The British government on Monday announced millions of tests to come by the fall thanks to new technologies that allow more people to be tested in record time.

With our correspondent in London, Elodie Goulesque

The subject is sensitive but this time the British government seems confident: the capacity for Covid tests will drop from the current 220,000 per day to half a million by October. The announcement was made by Minister of Health Matt Hancock on August 3 as Britain wants to boost its ability to cope with the coronavirus this winter. To achieve this goal, the government has invested in 5,000 machines that deliver results in 90 minutes.

In addition to speed, this technology identifies whether a patient has Covid-19 or the flu, then making it possible to take the necessary isolation measures if necessary. Another technology will allow up to 15,000 tests per day to be analyzed in the laboratory and to identify whether the sample was taken correctly in order to avoid false negatives.

These announcements come in a complicated context for the government. The British authorities have been widely criticized since the start of the Covid crisis for the lack of screening means, especially in retirement homes. Britain has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Europe with more than 300,000 people testing positive.

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