People pass through a Covid-19 testing centre at Bradford University.

  • The UK says it will distribute millions of coronavirus tests that can give a result within 90 minutes.
  • Six million tests will be distributed to hospitals, care homes, and laboratories, the UK government announced on Monday.
  • The tests have been created by DnaNudge and Oxford Nanopore and can also test for the flu.
  • Most currently-available tests take at least a day to provide a result. In the US it is not uncommon to wait a whole week.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The UK says it is rolling out millions of coronavirus tests that can return a result within 90 minutes.

Six million DNA tests and half a million swab tests will be distributed to hospitals, care homes, and laboratories, the UK government announced on Monday.

"Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will provide on-the-spot results in under 90 minutes, helping us to break chains of transmission quickly," health secretary Matt Hancock said.

Hancock added that the tests - created by the UK-based science companies DnaNudge and Oxford Nanopore - are also able to identify the flu.

"The fact these tests can detect flu as well as COVID-19 will be hugely beneficial as we head into winter, so patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others," he said.

If the tests work as slated, it will make a significant step forward in the UK's battle against the coronavirus .

Existing home testing kits used by the UK National Health Service take at least 48 hours to return a result, as do tests administered at drive-thru test centers.

In the US, wait times can be as long as a week for some tests, due to overwhelming demand on laboratories.

The 90-minute tests announced on Monday do not need to be operated by medical professionals.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned last week that the UK could be hit with a second wave of the virus.

Several cities in the north of England have seen spikes, prompting the reintroduction of safety measures like lockdowns.

With winter approaching, Johnson said he wants the UK to be able to test 500,000 people for the coronavirus each day by the time October arrives.

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