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NHS to introduce 90-minute flu and coronavirus tests

Hospitals and care homes will gain access to new tests which deliver results in 90 minutes and can tell if a patient is suffering from Covid-19 or flu, the Government has said.

Some 450,000 90-minute LamPORE swab and saliva tests will become avaiable to adult care setting and laboratories from next week, supplied by Oxford Nanopore.

Meanwhile, a new test that uses DNA to detect coronavirus will come to hospitals from September, with 5,000 DNA machines, supplied by DnaNudge, to provide 5.8m tests in the coming months. 

Each machine can test about 15 people a day with results within 90 minutes, according to the Government, which said eight machines are already in use in NHS hospitals.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘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. 

‘The fact these tests can detect flu as well as Covid-19 will be hugely beneficial as we head into winter, so patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others.

‘I am hugely grateful for the excellent work done by DnaNudge and Oxford Nanopore to push forward these life-saving innovations in coronavirus testing.’

The news comes as the Government aims to increase testing capacity to 500,000 a day before winter.

Meanwhile, a public health campaign in England will highlight the importance of getting a free test as soon as people develop symptoms and responding if contact tracers get in touch.