December 5, 2020

The daily £5 Covid-19 test that can give a result in 15 minutes could be the key to opening venues – Daily Mail

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8940421/The-daily-5-Covid-19-test-result-15-minutes-key-opening-venues.html

A rapid Covid test which costs just £5 could finally allow Britons back into concerts and sports events.

The Government is reportedly set to buy 200million of the tests which give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ result in 15 minutes.

A negative result would allow millions of people the freedom to socialise and experts say this could be key to moving away from strict coronavirus restrictions.

People who test negative could also receive a ‘day pass’ to go to the theatre, cinema or a sports event. 

Scientists have found the test can detect around three in four positive cases of Covid.

A rapid Covid test which costs just £5 could finally allow Britons back into concerts and sports events. Pictured: Mass testing site in Liverpool

A rapid Covid test which costs just £5 could finally allow Britons back into concerts and sports events. Pictured: Mass testing site in Liverpool

A rapid Covid test which costs just £5 could finally allow Britons back into concerts and sports events. Pictured: Mass testing site in Liverpool 

This accuracy goes up to 95 per cent when dealing with a high viral load – which makes people most infectious, but drops sharply when people carry out the test themselves at home.

Scientists have called for the public to be given lessons on how to correctly administer the test.  

There are plans to buy more than 60million rapid tests a month from January, according to The Daily Telegraph, with 192 million purchased in total by March. 

The tests are one of those at the heart of the Operation Moonshot pilot and could see the kits used in towns and cities across the UK to help the government get on top of the pandemic by the spring. 

Public Health England and the University of Oxford have evaluated 40 lateral flow tests – similar to the ones being used in Liverpool – which are like pregnancy tests in the sense that they provide a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ result for Covid within minutes.

The Government is reportedly set to buy 200million of the tests which give a 'yes' or 'no' result in 15 minutes

The Government is reportedly set to buy 200million of the tests which give a 'yes' or 'no' result in 15 minutes

The Government is reportedly set to buy 200million of the tests which give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ result in 15 minutes

The test could pave the way for 'freedom passes' which would let those with a negative result into a sports game or music concert

The test could pave the way for 'freedom passes' which would let those with a negative result into a sports game or music concert

The test could pave the way for ‘freedom passes’ which would let those with a negative result into a sports game or music concert

And it appears that the tests could be used on the 10 per cent of the population who are at greatest risk. 

It has been announced that 67 towns and cities will be given 600,000 tests. 

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford, said: ‘These inexpensive, easy-to-use tests can play a major role in our fight against Covid-19.

‘They identify those who are likely to spread the disease and when used systematically in mass testing could reduce transmissions by 90 per cent.

‘They will be detecting the disease in large numbers of people who have never previously even received a test.’

Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at NHS Test and Trace, said such tests ‘are proving to be accurate and reliable.

‘And, importantly they’re able to detect covid-19 in people without symptoms who could unknowingly be passing the virus onto others.’   

Government ministers announced that relatives of care home residents will be tested for the virus so they can finally visit their isolated loved ones. 

An initial scheme will be rolled out across 30 care homes this month.   

On another high-octane day of developments in the coronavirus crisis: 

  • England’s deputy chief medical officer has said he would be ‘at the front of the queue’ to take Pfizer’s breakthrough coronavirus vaccine if he were eligible in a bid to reassure Brits about its safety;
  • Economists have raised hopes the UK’s economy could return to pre-pandemic levels within six months after the bombshell news about a vaccine;
  • University students will be offered Covid tests after lockdown ends on December 2 before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan;
  • Government spending on anti-coronavirus measures has surpassed an eye-watering third of a trillion pounds since the pandemic began, according to analysis by MailOnline.

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll passed the grim milestone of 50,000 yesterday after health chiefs announced another 595 victims in the highest daily count since May.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the figures was a stark reminder that the UK ‘was not out of the woods yet’ despite promising news about a vaccine earlier this week. Officials say Covid fatalities will continue to rise for ‘several weeks’ due to high infection rates though October. 

He warned that a vaccine will not deliver a ‘knockout blow’ to coronavirus as Tories insisted he must not use the prospect of jabs to keep the country in lockdown longer.

At PMQs yesterday Boris Johnson gave a stern message to the public that they should not be expecting an early end to coronavirus restrictions, despite claims a vaccine could start being rolled out by Christmas

At PMQs yesterday Boris Johnson gave a stern message to the public that they should not be expecting an early end to coronavirus restrictions, despite claims a vaccine could start being rolled out by Christmas

At PMQs yesterday Boris Johnson gave a stern message to the public that they should not be expecting an early end to coronavirus restrictions, despite claims a vaccine could start being rolled out by Christmas

At a bad-tempered PMQs session, Mr Johnson again welcomed the news that Pfizer’s vaccine had been 90 per cent effective in early trials.

But he gave a stern message to the public that they should not be expecting an early end to restrictions, despite claims it could start being rolled out by Christmas.

He said the ‘best way to get this country back on its feet’ was to ‘continue on the path that we are, driving the virus down’.

The premier said science had given the country ‘two big boxing gloves’ via a possible vaccine and mass testing, but added: ‘Neither of them is capable of delivering a knock out blow on its own.

‘That’s why this country needs to continue to work hard to keep discipline and to observe the measures we’ve put in.’   

The Y-axis shows the three phases of the Government's plans to distribute the vaccine, with age being one of the driving factors behind who gets priority. The X-axis is the number of Britons that could be immunised by next summer

The Y-axis shows the three phases of the Government's plans to distribute the vaccine, with age being one of the driving factors behind who gets priority. The X-axis is the number of Britons that could be immunised by next summer

The Y-axis shows the three phases of the Government’s plans to distribute the vaccine, with age being one of the driving factors behind who gets priority. The X-axis is the number of Britons that could be immunised by next summer

And Mr Johnson is under fresh pressure from angry Tory MPs who are demanding that draconian restrictions are abandoned because they are destroying the economy, risking more deaths from poverty and other diseases that are going untreated.

At least 50 backbenchers have signed up to a new group headed by former chief whip Mark Harper, who has warned that Mr Johnson must not use the prospect of a vaccine arriving early next year to delay decisions on loosening lockdown.

Currently, Tier 1 restrictions are described as ‘medium risk’ with Tier 2 ‘high’ and Tier 3 ‘very high’.

Under Tier 3 rules restaurants can open, but only until 10pm and pubs and bars must close unless they also operate as a restaurant. 

This definition extends to pubs which sell ‘substantial’ meals, which like restaurants will be allowed to stay open but only serve alcohol to people eating a meal.

Locals are advised only to leave their areas for essential travel such as work, education or health, and must return before the end of the day.

Overnight stays by those from outside of these ‘high risk’ areas are also be banned. Households are not be allowed to mix either indoors or outdoors.

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has said that regions would not necessarily emerge from the current lockdown into the same tier they were in last month.

And one source told the Telegraph: ‘We will return to a regionalised approach after the lockdown, and the Government has not said explicitly at this point that the tiers will be exactly the same.

It comes after England’s deputy chief medical officer claimed he would be ‘at the front of the queue’ to take Pfizer’s breakthrough coronavirus vaccine if he were eligible in a bid to reassure Brits about its safety.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam held a press conference outlining the steps that have to be taken before the jab is dished out en masse around the country. 

But when pressed, he could not guarantee the vaccine would get Britain back to normal by Easter because of the colossal logistical challenge ahead.

Full data on Pfizer’s vaccine will be published this month and it’ll need to get the green light from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before it is deemed safe enough to administer to millions of Brits.  

ENGLAND’S DEPUTY CMO CLAIMS HE WOULD BE AT THE FRONT OF THE QUEUE TO TAKE VACCINE IF HE COULD

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said he would be 'at the front of the queue' if it was up to him to take a coronavirus vaccine

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said he would be 'at the front of the queue' if it was up to him to take a coronavirus vaccine

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said he would be ‘at the front of the queue’ if it was up to him to take a coronavirus vaccine

England’s deputy chief medical officer claimed he would be ‘at the front of the queue’ to take Pfizer’s breakthrough coronavirus vaccine if he were eligible in a bid to reassure Brits about its safety.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam held a press conference outlining the steps that have to be taken before the jab is dished out en masse around the country. But when pressed, he could not guarantee the vaccine would get Britain back to normal by Easter because of the colossal logistical challenge ahead.

Full data on Pfizer’s vaccine will be published this month and it’ll need to get the green light from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before it is deemed safe enough to administer to millions of Brits.

This process is expected to be wrapped up within weeks and the NHS is on standby to start deploying the shot by December 1. The vaccine needs to be stored at -70C and can spoil easy with even slight changes in temperature, which makes transporting and storing the vaccine a logistical headache.

To demonstrate his full confidence in the vaccine, the deputy CMO said he had also encouraged his 78-year-old mother to be ready to take the jab as soon as she’s offered it. It came after a Daily Mail poll suggested four in 10 Brits want politicians and Government advisers to take the vaccine first to prove it’s safe.

Under the Government’s vaccine distribution plans, Professor Van-Tam’s mother would fall under into third priority group, with care home residents and staff first in line, followed by over-80s and frontline NHS workers. At 56 years old, Professor Van-Tam himself would not be eligible to receive the vaccine until sometime next year after.

Britons who test negative for Covid should wear paper wristbands to show they don’t have the virus, Number 10’s nudge unit says 

By Luke Andrews for MailOnline 

Brits who test negative for coronavirus should be told to wear paper wristbands to show they do not have the virus, Government advisers have said.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) — also known as Number 10‘s nudge unit — said the bands could act as an ‘incentive’ for people to get tested.

The Queen and senior figures of the royal family should also be recruited to promote testing in the UK, the team said in a report.

They made the recommendations ahead of the roll out of ‘Operation Moonshot’ mass testing to almost 70 authorities in the UK, after a pilot was launched in Liverpool last week with the backing of the British Army.

BIT members were sent to Slovakia to watch the country roll out its own mass testing programme, which saw 3.4million residents swabbed in one weekend. Those who tested negative were given a paper certificate and told they no longer had to follow restrictions ordering them to stay home.

As many as 38,000 positive cases were identified in the scheme — around 14 times the number being picked up by the country’s official testing system. 

Paper wristbands were recommended for those that tested negative by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT)

Paper wristbands were recommended for those that tested negative by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT)

Paper wristbands were recommended for those that tested negative by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT)

The reports recommendations were based on the mass testing scheme in Slovakia. Everyone who tested negative was issued with a paper certificate (pictured)

The reports recommendations were based on the mass testing scheme in Slovakia. Everyone who tested negative was issued with a paper certificate (pictured)

The reports recommendations were based on the mass testing scheme in Slovakia. Everyone who tested negative was issued with a paper certificate (pictured)

WHAT WERE THE RECOMMENDATIONS? 

After viewing Slovakia’s mass testing programme, the team made several recommendations to the UK Government for motivating people to get tested for Covid-19.

These included:

  • Provide paper wristbands to those that have tested negative
  • Use powerful messaging such as ‘save Christmas’
  • Recruit the royal family to promote the testing programme
  • Give volunteers additional benefits such as free public transport
  • Provide lotteries as part of testing
  • Support positive cases with a ‘care package’, providing them with temporary housing in which to isolate and priority delivery slots in supermarkets 

After observing Slovakia’s mass testing programme, BIT published its recommendations in a report also issued to the UK government.

The team, which is partly owned by the Cabinet Office, recommended people should be given wristbands if they test negative. 

‘Along with certificates, distribute paper wristbands to all people who tested negative for easier recognition of whether they can enter venues,’ they said.

The report added the Government should make a serious effort to offer incentives for people to get tested, if they wanted the pilot scheme to be successful.

They suggested also rolling out lotteries and partnerships with local businesses, as well as subsidising the cost of travelling to test centres.

Additionally, it was also suggested that volunteers at testing centres should be offered perks including free parking, free public transport for a year, and free entry to selected famous attractions to get more to sign up.

Powerful messaging using slogans including ‘save Christmas’ should also be deployed, they said, to encourage people to get tested.

Britain began mass screening in Liverpool last week, where it aims to swab all 500,000 residents within six weeks to identify all coronavirus infections.

The mayor and local officials have got behind the scheme, saying it is a ‘great opportunity’ for the city to get back to normal for Christmas.

Above is the process of getting tested in Slovakia. Those who are swabbed are required to wait for their test result before leaving the centre

Above is the process of getting tested in Slovakia. Those who are swabbed are required to wait for their test result before leaving the centre

Above is the process of getting tested in Slovakia. Those who are swabbed are required to wait for their test result before leaving the centre

Mass coronavirus testing being used in Liverpool will be rolled out across 66 local authorities, the Health Secretary claimed

Mass coronavirus testing being used in Liverpool will be rolled out across 66 local authorities, the Health Secretary claimed

Mass coronavirus testing being used in Liverpool will be rolled out across 66 local authorities, the Health Secretary claimed

Figures on the tests and positive results are due to be released this Friday, a spokesman for the Department of Health said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday mass testing will be rolled out over almost 70 local authorities in the coming days.

Areas tipped for them include Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and the West Midlands, which will initially receive 10,000 rapid tests that give results in an hour in the first batch, before getting a second delivery.