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Deal for quicker coronavirus tests welcomed by Banffshire MSP


By Kyle Ritchie

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NHS Scotland has agreed a £6.76 million deal to purchase new machines capable of turning around coronavirus tests in 12 minutes.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said the investment will help meet needs in more remote locations.

It comes after the agreement with UK-based life sciences company LumiraDx to supply 300 rapid testing machines as well as a minimum of 500,000 tests.

The investment in the new machines will allow coronavirus tests to be turned around in 12 minutes.
The investment in the new machines will allow coronavirus tests to be turned around in 12 minutes.

The LumiraDx Platform instruments can be used anywhere making them ideal for local clinics or mobile units in rural communities.

Mr Stevenson said: “This announcement is superb news for communities across the north-east and the wider country.

“This is a great example of our pioneering life sciences sector in Scotland. I am pleased it will also help to support a quick turn around on testing, particularly in rural areas.”

The instruments connect to a cloud system, which means outbreaks of Covid-19 can be tracked quickly by health authorities playing a vital role in Scotland’s Test and Protect strategy.

The test was authorised for emergency use by the US Federal Drug Administration last week and is going through the final stages of validation for use in Scotland and Europe.

The test detects Covid-19 antigen protein from a nasal swab with results in under 12 minutes in symptomatic patients.

Other rapid tests currently being trialled produce results in an average time of 90 minutes.

Following the initial order of 500,000 tests the Scottish Government anticipates a four nations agreement for future procurement.

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