Cambridge Uni lab sets target of 30,000 Coronavirus tests a day
A new laboratory is to be setup at Cambridge university that aims to conduct 30,000 coronavirus tests a day as the UK government sets a target of 100k tests a day by the end of the month in order to aid tackling the pandemic.
The new facility would begin with 1,000 to 2,000 daily tests by mid-April and aim to “ramp up progressively” to 30,000 tests in the first week of May.
The facility will be based at the university’s Anne McLaren Laboratory on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and is operating in collaboration with AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline.
A joint statement the organisations stated that the facility would be used for “high throughput screening for Covid-19 testing and to explore the use of alternative chemical reagents for test kits in order to help overcome current supply shortages”.
Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme that the company typically carries out polymerase chain reaction tests “very regularly”.
“The challenge here is to bring this to a big scale and achieve 30,000 tests per day,” he said.
In its most recent figures, the Department for Health and Social Care said that 14,006 tests were carried out on Monday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has pledged 100,000 tests a day as part of a strategy to increase testing across the country.
Mr Argar said although the new facility might not reach its maximum capacity by the end of this month, it would be “making a significant contribution to that overall total of 100,000 tests per day”.