New 90 minute DNA and swab tests for coronavirus, flu and other respiratory viruses will be available in hospitals and care homes in the UK from next week, the government announced today.
The government said both tests can detect the coronavirus and other respiratory viruses in just 90 minutes, faster than current tests, a third of which take more than 24 hours to process.
“The fact these tests can detect flu as well as covid-19 will be hugely beneficial as we head into winter,” said UK health minister Matt Hancock.
The government has secured access to 5.8 million DNA-based tests and 5000 DNA testing machines from UK-based company DNA Nudge.
The handheld Nudgebox machines analyse SARS-CoV-2 DNA in nose swabs and can process up to 15 tests per day without a laboratory. The firm’s single-chip test, which was validated in April and recently obtained CE marking, also detects influenza A, influenza B, and RSV, CEO Christofer Toumazou said. It exhibited 98 percent sensitivity and 100 percent specificity, DnaNudge said in a statement.