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Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 45175, tabled on 11 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the UK's capacity to mass manufacture a test for covid-19.

Answered on

19 May 2020

There is a clear and unprecedented demand for testing supplies. The Department of Health and Social Care is leading on the government’s approach to testing for COVID-19 and the National Diagnostics Effort to scale up the UK’s diagnostics industry, as part of the government’s Testing Strategy.

The UK has an innovative, but relatively small diagnostics industry, and both the Department for Health and Social Care and The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy are working with companies, including UK manufacturers, to ramp up their capacity as quickly as possible. The Department of Health and Social Care is also working closely with industry to obtain maximum possible supplies for the UK and with the scientific community to explore innovative new options for test kits.