Coronavirus home testing will be ‘game changer’

Staff writer

Health Minister Edward Argar says that making coronavirus home testing available will be a "game changer".

Mr Argar did not want to give a timescale for when home coronavirus tests would be available, reiterating Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty's words on Wednesday that, "The one thing that is worse than no test is a bad test."

【ギャラリー】Coronavirus across the globe100

In other news, Britain made an emergency order of 10,000 ventilators designed at breakneck speed by bagless vacuum cleaner company Dyson, the first fruits of an industry-wide call to arms to prepare for the looming peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ahead of an expected surge of cases that could overwhelm Britain's publicly funded health service, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made an urgent appeal to manufacturers 10 days ago to build ventilators to help keep patients alive.

Billionaire founder James Dyson said he had drawn on the company's expertise in air movement, motors, power systems, manufacturing and supply chain to design and build an entirely new ventilator, The CoVent, that could be deployed in this time of "grave international crisis".

"The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time," Dyson said on Wednesday evening in an email to staff seen by Reuters.

"The race is now on to get it into production."

Dyson will have to secure approval from the British medical regulator for the device and its manufacturing process. If it receives the green light, production could start early next month.