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Lead covid doctor on hunt for even faster tests

Lead covid doctor on hunt for even faster tests

Monday 21 September 2020

Lead covid doctor on hunt for even faster tests


The medic leading the island's response to the pandemic has said he's on the lookout for tech that can produce covid test results even more rapidly.

Deputy Medical Officer for Health Dr Ivan Muscat’s comments come after the island’s own testing laboratory was set up this week outside Jersey Airport, with test result turnaround at an average rate of 12 hours.

Speaking in response to a question on rapid testing from Express at a press conference on Friday, Dr Muscat said: “All this is a journey, every element of what we’re doing, and that includes covid testing - and the testing centre is a fantastic step forward."

He continued: “It will pay huge dividends, but we also must rightly look at further technologies to further bolster our ability to respond and that includes antigen testing on saliva using lateral flow, for example."

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Pictured: Dr Muscat called the current new testing centre "a fantastic step forward."

There are a number of different ‘rapid tests’ for covid currently available in the UK and other regions, such as LamPORE tests which take around 60-90 minutes to diagnose from a swab sample.

Another example is the recently adopted ‘dnaNudge test’ which give results at around 90 minutes with a 94% sensitivity rate for identifying those with the virus according to a study by The Lancet Microbe

Meanwhile, a number of local pharmacies have launched their own covid-19 testing service. Tests for adults and children will cost £175, with results guaranteed back within 72 hours between Monday and Wednesday.

The cost includes a certification, which is available in hard copy.

Participating pharmacies include LV Pharmacy on Beresford Street, Queens Road Pharmacy on Queens Road, and Reids Pharmacies on New Street, Charing Cross, Longueville, the Lido Medical Centre and Bagatelle Road.

The pharmacies say that the data from their testing will be made available to Jersey's Government should they request it "to attain a better perspective of the outbreak of covid-19 locally."

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