Derby firm to supply Government with 2 million rapid testing kits

A Derby firm is at the forefront of the new mass testing in workplaces after securing a contract with the Government.

Derby-based company SureScreen Diagnostics is to provide two million of the lateral flow tests, which provide results in under 30 minutes, by next Friday (15 January), with the potential to provide millions more in the coming months.

The Government has ordered two million of the first British-manufactured rapid lateral flow antigen tests for COVID-19 to be validated by Public Health England, for use in asymptomatic testing, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

Hancock said: “It is excellent to be working with a UK firm to deliver millions of these rapid tests, which are being deployed across the country to help protect our communities and most vital public services.

“Roughly one in three people with Covid-19 don’t display symptoms, meaning you can infect others unknowingly. This is why asymptomatic testing is so crucial in our fight against the virus, and why I’m so grateful to see the British diagnostics industry use their ingenuity and expertise in our shared purpose to protect our communities.”

David Campbell, director of SureScreen, said: “We believe our rapid antigen tests can really help in screening people both in the community and in clinical settings. Routine testing is crucial to help business and schools as well as hospitals and GPs. We are delighted to be working with DHSC on this project and that our tests have been recognised by the Government and its scientists. We look forward to doing all we can to help the UK going forward in 2021.”

Matthew Fell, CBI UK chief policy cirector: “Rapid mass testing is a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting on top of the virus. The health and safety of staff is paramount for employers, which is why they will be right behind this initiative.

“This expansion of testing will help more critical workers and those unable to work from home to operate safely, while also catching new cases more swiftly.

“Ramping up asymptomatic testing to all workplaces will require hand-in-glove partnership between health services, local authorities and businesses in each and every community.”