Covid-19: Community Testing

Part of Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 12th January 2021.

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Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

I join my hon. Friend in welcoming the opening of community testing centres in Swadlincote. Asymptomatic testing enables us to pick up cases in high prevalence areas that otherwise would go undetected, which means that we can break chains of transmission. There has been extensive clinical evaluation from Public Health England and Oxford University, which shows that lateral flow tests are appropriate for that use. They identify over two thirds of all people who have covid-19 but often do not have symptoms and, importantly, they catch the vast majority with a high viral load.