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HomeWeekly RoundupUK regulator gives go-ahead to 20-second COVID-19 test

UK regulator gives go-ahead to 20-second COVID-19 test

A 20-second COVID-19 test will launch in Britain after regulators accepted its registration, Reuters reports the product’s distributor said, heralding a testing system it said could be used in airports, sports venues and businesses. Rapid tests are seen as a key plank of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, but concerns have been expressed about the accuracy of existing lateral flow devices.

The Virolens test, which is made by British start-up iAbra and TT Electronics, has been piloted at Heathrow Airport, and uses swabs of saliva.

Histate, which is distributing the test, said it would launch with immediate effect after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) accepted the registration of the product, and the company said it was hoping for a wider rollout in coming months.

Histate said trials had indicated the test had 98.1% sensitivity, meaning it returns few false negatives, and 99.7% specificity, meaning few false positives.


Full Reuters report

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