Written by Charlotte Smith.
Following the success of the pilot scheme in Liverpool, it is understood discussions are underway for a similar scheme to next take place across Nottinghamshire. Over 23,000 people have taken the new lateral flow tests in Liverpool, which give results in 15 minutes.
This is part of a scheme to ramp up and expand current testing, with an initial batch of 600,000 tests being shared across 50 directors of public health, including in Nottingham. The aim is to detect more asymptomatic cases, as many of these currently go undetected. By catching these cases it will greatly reduce the spread of the virus and therefore the infection level. A higher proportion of those with the disease will be self-isolating, cutting off transmission links.
In Nottinghamshire 400 beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. This is higher than the peak of the virus back in April. It has been widely said that a rapid, widespread and accurate test and trace system will be key to controlling the virus, so people are able to go out and meet again.
More than 2000 troops have been assisting with this effort, which is expected to be rolled out across the country in the coming weeks and months. Hopefully, this and the current lockdown will enable us all to be with our families this Christmas.
The scheme has been received well in Nottingham, with many asked by The Nottingham Post saying it was a relief. Dale Sharlow, of Carlton, told them “It is not about going back to work…mental health is a big issue. I reckon they are doing it so people can see their families again”.