Dagenham laboratory could produce coronavirus test results in six hours
- Credit: PA
A Covid-19 testing lab that can produce results in as little as six hours could be opened in Dagenham.
Barking and Dagenham Council said it is in talks to use 5,000sq ft of laboratory space at the Londoneast business park, off Rainham Road South, for a facility that can produce quick results.
It added that priority would be given to teachers, care workers and frontline council staff to enable them to minimise self-isolation times and return to work more swiftly. Another aim is to reduce the time children spend missing school. It could also test key workers regularly to stop asymptomatic carriers from spreading to virus.
The move follows continued problems with the national test and trace system, which is struggling to cope with the volumes of tests being sought.
Last week the local authority had more than 1,400 school pupils self-isolating in the borough and its public health team has banned visits to care homes after an increase in people testing positive for the virus.
Council leader Darren Rodwell said: “We are just finalising the details. I want to get it right because it needs to work. We lost a lot of our testing capacity in London and that is ridiculous if we have this lab sitting empty.
“There will be a contact number, you phone up and workers can come to our location, have the test done and the turnaround is very quick, around six hours at its fastest.
- 1 Murder charge after man, 60, found fatally injured in Dagenham
- 2 Barking and Dagenham A Level results 2022: Live updates for borough's schools
- 3 Local 18-year-old filmmaker gears up for ‘ambitious’ first feature-length film
- 4 London Assembly: TfL urged to rethink plans to cut 78 bus routes
- 5 Bleed kit in memory of doorman Ricky Hayden installed outside nightclub
- 6 Product sold at Tesco recalled due to risk of disease-causing bacteria
- 7 Item thrown from A13 bridge smashes windscreen and injures driver
- 8 Summer of Festivals Weekender draws thousands to Parsloes Park
- 9 Jailed: Eight east London offenders locked up in July
- 10 Dagenham fire families receive thousands in donated cash
“We are doing what the government has asked us but we are looking at what add-ons we can do to improve the system. We want to get kids back into schools where it is safer for them and they’re not interrupting their learning. The same goes for care homes, we don’t want lots of staff isolating.
“If we know about cases quickly it’s better for our residents.
“The problem with the government is that it is being too centralised with everything that it has done. Councils across the country are able to offer a lot more than what the government is asking us to do. What we do need in return is the funding to do it.”
The government has faced criticism over backlogs and delays with tests processed at its the privately run Lighthouse labs. Statistics released this month showed only 26.8 per cent of results were received within 24 hours.