A half-million people in the English city of Liverpool will be regularly tested for COVID-19 from Friday.
Under the new scheme, everyone who lives or works in Liverpool will be offered the test, regardless of whether they have symptoms. The aim is to reduce transmission by identifying asymptomatic cases.
The government said on Tuesday that the testing will be performed at various sites throughout the city using multiple methods, including ones that can provide results in an hour or less.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said the new approach “has the potential to be a powerful new weapon in our fight against Covid-19”. “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”, Johnson said.
Liverpool has one of the highest infection rates in England. The city recorded 366.4 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to October 29. In comparison, the infection rate of the nation as a whole stands at 225 per 100,000 people.