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Coronavirus: Millions of 15-minute COVID tests in development for UK, PM | British news

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The UK’s coronavirus testing system (which has long been embarrassing to ministers) could benefit greatly from millions of new fast turnaround tests, Boris Johnson said.

The Prime Minister told Friday’s press conference that it is developing the ability to produce millions of tests, some of which can get results from saliva samples in just 15 minutes.

Johnson said: “Scientists and businesses in the UK and around the world are developing new tests that are faster, simpler and cheaper.

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“There is work to be done, but over the past few weeks it has become clear that some of these new tests are very effective and can help save lives and jobs during the winter.

“We have already bought millions of tests, some of which are very simple, meaning you can get results in less than 15 minutes just by wiping the swab in your mouth,” he added.

“We started building the infrastructure for the domestic manufacturing of these tests so that the UK could produce millions of quick tests here.

“Over the next few weeks, we will distribute these tests nationwide and begin testing,” he added, adding that some rapid tests are already in use in hospitals.

They said it would help save lives and prevent the spread of the disease among healthcare workers, nursing homes and people working in the field of education.

Test and Trace is one of the most widely criticized aspects of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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‘I need more money for Lancashire’

From the outset, there was controversy over the number of people tested, and health minister Matt Hancock promised 100,000 people a day by the end of April.

Those goals were right, but some of them weren’t finished, but tests posted or delivered to people’s homes with those numbers.

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In July, Whitehall admitted that there were significant double counts in initial test statistics, stating that the total number of cases in the UK was 30,000 fewer than the original data claimed.

This was one of several instances in which numbers were removed or added from published figures.

During the early months, the test system and the data generated by it were simply “not suitable for the purpose,” one senior official told Sky News.

Further criticism was aimed at ministers for the test-and-trace mobile phone app with multiple issues.

Initially, the government used technology from Apple and Google to choose its own construction before scrapping along the route taken in countries such as Ireland, Germany and Italy.

Eventually it started last month, six months after the UK was closed.

On Thursday, Sky News revealed that the government is paying £25,000 to a team of management consultants of five people per day to work on that part of the system.

Johnson has advised UK territories at “very high” alert levels to be “prioritized immediately” for quick turnaround testing, but warned that they should take a “careful” approach to new technologies.

“Over time, we sadly want to use tests to open up more parts of the closed economy, but it’s important to make sure those systems are working safely,” he said.

“Before many organizations can purchase and run these tests themselves, we need to evaluate with you that it will take some time to correct this problem.”

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