In light of this, the UK government is rolling out millions of tests that can detect coronavirus, along with other common viruses, during the coming autumn and winter months.
The Department of Health said on Monday that, starting next week, the tests, known as “Nudgebox” and LamPORE, will be provided to hospitals, care homes, and labs.
The department says this “will hugely increase testing capacity ahead of winter, delivering fast results that will help to break chains of transmission quickly.”
The first type of test – the Nudgebox machine, is supplied by DnaNudge. This machine will analyse the patient’s DNA from a nose swab and is capable of detecting Covid-19 in just 90 minutes.
The second test, LamPORE, uses swab and saliva samples and takes an estimated 60-90 minutes to provide a positive or negative test result.
According to the government, the tests have the “same sensitivity as the widely used PCR swab test,” although it hasn’t published any information on the accuracy of the results.
This comes as the global medical community looks to find ways to slow the spread of the virus and stop any future spikes in the number of cases. This is seen as an effective tool in controlling the number of new cases.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement, “We’re using the most innovative technologies available to tackle coronavirus. Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will provide on-the-spot results in under 90 minutes, helping us to break chains of transmission quickly.”
Going forward, manufacturers are developing technology that could provide even faster test results to try and curb the number of cases.
In the US, the FDA has authorised several manufacturers to produce the Abbott ID NOW test, which can provide test results in as little as 13 minutes – although it’s unclear how accurate the results of this test are.