Coronavirus testing to see a significant expansion

Public Health England to ‘carry out 10,000 tests daily’ through use of advanced labs and ‘highly sensitive test’.

Efficient testing

Public Health England has developed a highly sensitive test to detect Coronavirus.

England is one of the first countries to have developed the test.

There are 1,500 tests being conducted and processed each day at the labs with a turnaround of only 24 hours.

As of 10th March, Public Health England has processed over 25,000 tests with capacity still not being exceeded.

The NHS is scaling up tests by 500% with additional labs to begin checks.

This will allow 8,000 samples to be analysed every day.

Surveillance testing is also being conducted on people in wards and surgeries showing signs of the virus.

This is in order to detect the virus earlier.

Local hospital labs to join specialist services to be able to detect the presence of the virus.

Significantly, learning and technology will be shared across NHS services nationally.

Significant action

The action comes as the infection rate climbs in order to meet demand and reduce public panic.

Professor Dame Sue Hill, NHS Chief Scientific Officer said:

“The NHS is ramping up the number of testing centres across the country, to help people get care quickly or have their mind put at ease.”

Professor Dame Sue also called for the public to assist the NHS by ‘practicing good hygiene.’

The message to the public has consistently been about hand washing for 20 seconds.

Professor Sharon Peacock, Director of the National Infection Service, Public Health England reiterated the importance of wider testing.

The scaling up will be done in phases with the first phase calling on 10 NHS microbiology services to step up capacity.

The next phase will ‘call on 29 NHS pathology networks to allocate further testing’.

Professor Sharon went on to say “PHE has continued to process the vast majority of test results within 24 hours of receiving the sample in a PHE laboratory and returning them to NHS colleagues and will continue to do so.”