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Britain aims for mass coronavirus testing by year end

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LONDON — Mass coronavirus testing should be the norm in Britain by the end of the year, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Thursday.

Under a new £500 million program, tests for the virus will be widely available — a policy that Prime Minister Boris Johnson says will “end the need for social distancing.” The first stage of the plan, dubbed Operation Moonshot, will be community trials of a rapid 20-minute saliva test. The aim is to provide weekly community testing, beginning with groups such as schoolchildren, teachers and office workers, and then expanding to the wider population.

Asked by Times Radio whether he hopes mass testing will be “the norm” by the end of the year, Hancock agreed, noting that the government is engaged with about 100 companies producing new types of tests.

“The aim here is to have mass testing much more widely, both to be able to find cases of coronavirus and make sure we can deal with them, but also so that we can give people the confidence if they test negative that they are free of coronavirus and can go about their normal business,” he said.

Scientists have been calling for mass testing for several months. Martin Hibberd, professor of emerginRead More – Source

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