Coronavirus: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what use is being made of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), is used in many laboratories to test patient samples for the COVID-19 virus.

RT-PCR is used for detecting certain viruses to help diagnose infection. It is being used throughout the United Kingdom to detect the COVID-19 virus. RT-PCR makes millions of copies of a virus’ genetic material and these can be detected on laboratory equipment. If this equipment detects a signal, it means the test is positive (virus detected). If the equipment does not detect a signal, it means the test is negative (no virus detected).

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