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Roche Diagnostics has launched its new 15-minute COVID-19 nasal antigen test in the UK. The company stated that millions of the new tests will be available immediately, in what could be a huge boost for organisations and businesses looking to reopen safely when the UK’s lockdown begins to lift.

Roche’s test does not require swabs to be processed in a lab, meaning that results can be turned around extremely quickly. Furthermore, swabs for the test only need to be used on the frontal area of the nose, rather than at the nasopharynx area. This makes the tests simpler and easier to conduct, as well as more comfortable for those being tested.

The test can also decrease the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for healthcare workers, as patients are able to self-collect their swab sample.

The test received its CE mark at the beginning of last month and will now be available throughout the UK. Roche will be launching the test with Korean firm SD Biosensor, with whom it also launched rapid COVID-19 antibody and antigen tests in 2020.

Roche MD for UK & Ireland Geoff Twist commented: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we are proud to have supported the ongoing national effort with a number of different tests. As the country moves to the next phase and begins to reopen, high quality diagnostic tests will remain critical to supporting the UK’s recovery.”

“Our rapid antigen nasal test can deliver results after just 15 minutes, providing much-needed confidence and reassurance at this challenging time. Tests which are convenient to use and deliver fast results can help industries, including the arts, sport and aviation, to get back to business as lockdown restrictions are lifted.”

“We are extremely proud to be working with organisations across the country to provide testing and with the NHS to continue increasing testing capacity.”

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