Army to direct dozens of mobile coronavirus test units to reach 100,000 targets per day


Army personnel have been recruited to run dozens of mobile coronavirus test units that can be dispatched across the UK.

Facilities should be deployed in nursing homes, police stations and prisons to screen key workers and vulnerable people where demand is “high”.

The units take less than 20 minutes to set up, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, and can test hundreds of people each day.

This comes as government is under pressure to speed up Covid-19 testing with a target of 100,000 per day by next Thursday.

The new units, designed by the Royal Engineers of the Army, are vehicles that have been redeveloped to become test sites.

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Government under pressure to speed up Covid-19 testing

Specially trained military personnel will collect the swabs and then send them to “mega-laboratories” for processing.

Results should be available within 48 hours.

Interior Minister Priti Patel said on Downing Street on Saturday that 28,760 tests were carried out on Friday.

Army personnel trained to conduct Covid-19 tests

Eight mobile units are already testing across the country, in regions like Salisbury, Southport and Teesside.

However, the health ministry said “at least” 96 will be ready in early May, following a pilot last week.

The army will employ 92 units, while civilian contractors will manage four more in Northern Ireland.

The mobile sites will also be used to test front-line workers in the fire and rescue services and in the service centers.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said, “Our armed forces will help provide testing where it is most needed, using a network of 96 mobile units to be deployed in the coming weeks.

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Coronavirus epidemic

“They will ensure that our healthcare sector gets the tests necessary to stay on the front line of the fight against this pandemic.” “

Professor John Newton, National Test Coordinator, added, “New mobile test units will help us reach our goal of 100,000 coronavirus tests per day, providing tests to vital frontline workers wherever they are available. need.

“In a matter of weeks, we have worked with leading British scientists, academics and industry partners to build dozens of new test facilities and the largest UK network of diagnostic laboratories in history. “


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