The Entrepreneurs’ Forum is calling upon the government to extend the introduction of ‘game changing’ swab and DNA coronavirus tests to business to help protect the workforce and support the economic bounce back.
Welcoming news of the two tests that are able to detect COVID-19 within 90 minutes, Forum chief executive, Jonathan Lamb, said: “These rapid tests are not just important to stop the spread of coronavirus within hospitals and care homes but have much wider implications for a swift economic recovery if made available to businesses and industry.
“Access to these on the spot swab and DNA tests offers a quick and efficient method of identifying those who are infected and asymptomatic – allowing businesses to prevent any possibility of the virus spreading through its workforce and breaking the chain of infection.
“Such a cohesive testing strategy would increase the confidence of staff and customers alike by protecting the workplace and preventing any unexpected disruptions caused by a localised spike in infection.
“These tests are also much more accessible and could be performed in a workplace setting, without the need to visit a drive-through or clinical testing site.”
He added that the tests could also provide a crucial role in screening children returning to school in September.
“The return of schools is another critical milestone in our economic recovery as it provides the capacity for those with childcare responsibilities to return to work.”
The government has said that the two new tests – both able to detect the virus in 90 minutes – will be made available to NHS hospitals, care homes and labs.
Both can detect COVID-19 and other winter viruses, such as flu and respiratory syncytial virus and do not require a trained health professional to operate them, meaning they can be rolled out in non-clinical settings.
The test that uses DNA to detect the virus will be available across NHS hospitals from September, with 5,000 DNA machines, supplied by DnaNudge, to provide 5.8m tests in coming months.
Separately, 450,000 LamPORE swab tests, supplied by Oxford Nanopore, will also be available across adult care settings and laboratories from next week.