Pregnancy-style Covid tests could allow Brits to socialise again after trials in Liverpool show they can reduce transmission by 90 per cent.
The rapid turnaround tests will play a “major role” in returning life to normal, Oxford Uni scientists said today.
Testing shows the checks can effectively pick up more than three in four positive cases – the majority of which are currently being missed.
Experts say they are now looking at how the new technology, which can provide results in under 30 minutes, could be self-administered.
The kits, known as lateral flow tests, have been trialled across England to find out their effectiveness, including a city-wide pilot in Liverpool which was launched last week.
The tests involve a swab of the nose and throat, just like a PCR test.
It’s then inserted into a tube of liquid for a short period of time.
Drops of that liquid are then added to a strip – similar to a pregnancy test – and about half an hour later a result is shown.
Public Health England today said that their extensive clinical evaluation has proven them to be accurate and reliable enough for community-use.
Sir John Bell, professor of medicine at Oxford University, said: “‘The data in this validation report demonstrates that these inexpensive, easy to use tests can play a major role in our fight against Covid-19.
“They identify those who are likely to spread the disease and when used systematically in mass testing could reduce transmissions by 90 per cent.“
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