The Government has announced that Liverpool will become the first city in the UK to use city-wide Coronavirus testing as early as this week.
Liverpool currently have one of the highest Covid-19 rate per 100,000 in the country, making it the ideal place to trial such a scheme.
Both residents and workers within the Liverpool City region will be offered Covid-19 tests
By testing a wider proportion of the population, it will give a better picture of how the virus is spreading amongst the community and will lead to better local strategies to deal with the outbreak within that region.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I want to thank the civic leaders of Liverpool for volunteering to join the UK’s first city-wide population testing pilot and the people of Liverpool for taking part.
“These tests will help identify the many thousands of people in the city who don’t have symptoms but can still infect others without knowing. Dependent on their success in Liverpool, we will aim to distribute millions of these new rapid tests between now and Christmas and empower local communities to use them to drive down transmission in their areas.
“It is early days, but this kind of mass testing has the potential to be a powerful new weapon in our fight against COVID-19.”
The trial is utilising a new form of lateral flow test, that can provide results within an hour. It is only through these rapid turnaround tests that a city-wide test is feasible.
If the scheme is successful, it would inform the blueprint on how it can be extended to other cities across the country.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:
“During negotiations with central government, myself and Steve Rotheram have always highlighted the need for enhanced public health intervention measures in Liverpool and the wider city region, and we were keen that we should be considered for any new strategies to tackle the worrying rise in COVID-19.
“We are pleased that our numerous conversations have resulted in Liverpool becoming a pilot for mass testing, which will help to quickly identify people who have the virus and reduce transmission substantially.”