By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter
A West London borough is planning to follow in the footsteps of Liverpool by introducing mass coronavirus testing.
Hammersmith and Fulham council is hoping to start offering more tests with a fast turnaround “very soon”.
The council’s head of public health, Dr Nicola Lang, told the health, inclusion, social care and accountability committee yesterday that it was discussing the tests with the Government.
She said: “We are in discussions with the Department of Health on mass testing.”
She said they hoped to do lateral flow tests which “look for a bit of protein on the surface of the virus”.
The tests got under way in Liverpool this week, and Dr Lang said: “We are planning to start this very soon in Hammersmith and Fulham.”
The test is “a bit like a pregnancy test and the results can be turned around in 20 to 30 minutes, she explained.
However the sensitivity of the tests means the pick-up rate of the infection “is a bit lower”, she said.
The borough’s latest rate of positive test results is 211 per 100,000 people in the past seven days to yesterday.
But Dr Lang said the rate was falling, and stressed: “We do extensive testing in the borough with mobile testing units moving around Hammersmith and Fulham.”
The borough is testing 579 per 100,000 residents, and the London average is just over 300 per 100,000 people.
Pictured top: Hammersmith and Fulham council is hoping to start offering more tests with a fast turnaround “very soon”.
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