This was the BBC report dated  3rd August:

Coronavirus: New 90-minute tests for Covid-19 and flu ‘hugely beneficial’

New 90-minute tests that can detect coronavirus and flu will be rolled out in hospitals and care homes from next week.

The “on-the-spot” swab and DNA tests will help distinguish between Covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses, the government said.

The health secretary said this would be “hugely beneficial” over the winter.

Currently, a third of tests take longer than 24 hours to process.

The reaction of  WHO 3rd  August briefing:

Question is specifically about the UK fast test from about 41 minutes in:

Dr Maria Kerkhove: “evaluating all of these rapuid tests so that we can see how well they perform”

Dr Mike Ryan: ”tend to not be sensitive enough – in other words they miss infections”

Compare with ScotGov Briefing comments by Jean Freeman at around 38 minutes in.

Jeanne Freeman:”but we need to be sure that the 90 minute test is as good as the current PCR test”

Is it me or are the WHO and ScotGov somewhat less gung-ho than the UK about this new test? 

This is the reaction of some scientists to the new 90 minute wonder test that is going to be the salvation of the UK:

UK government has placed a £161 million order for rapid COVID-19 test kits with DNANudge. This company sells personal food shopping & lifestyle advice based on a consumer’s DNA sequence. Let me join geneticists around the world as we scream into the void.

Has the UK rushed into purchase of a test that has not been fully evaluated?  It certainly looks like that to me. Why would they do that?  Maybe this from the BBC piece above might explain it.

The announcement comes as the government pushed back a July target to regularly test all care home staff and residents – a key move to identify so-called silent spreaders, those who are infected but do not show symptoms.

This is unlikely to be achieved until September because the number of testing kits has become more limited.


Getting a grasp of the technical side can be difficult.  This piece, although it is a little old,  does explain the basics of the different tests.