A new rapid test for Covid-19 is rolling out to all emergency departments across Northern Ireland in the coming week.
The Lumira DX is a rapid nasal swab test that delivers results in 12 minutes.
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “The Lumira DX test is a significant development in our testing capability for Covid-19.
"This rapid test will enable emergency departments (EDs) to very quickly identify patients who do not have Covid-19, enabling faster decision-making in relation to patients’ care and treatment.
"A negative result will also enable ED staff to make faster decisions regarding the appropriate placement of patients in hospital wards.
“The pressures on our hospital system have been well publicised.
"One of the areas currently experiencing significant pressure are our EDs, where patients with COVID-19 and those with other medical conditions both arrive seeking help.
"Being able to identify more quickly that a patient does not have the SARS-CoV-2 virus will benefit staff in the ED and our system as a whole.”
Expert teams within the Belfast Trust have been working to test and trial this rapid testing technology, as one of only five early adopter sites across the UK.
The Lumira DX testing technology has been validated locally by scientists in the Regional Virology Laboratory in Belfast Trust working collaboratively with staff in the RVH Emergency Department, supported by the Trust’s Point-of-Care Team.
The Minister concluded: “Lumira DX testing kits have now been delivered to all Trusts who are finalising arrangements for their use and I look forward to seeing this testing technology used to support care of ED patients in the coming week or so.
"I commend everyone who contributed to the Lumira DX trial locally. It has been a huge achievement to get this new testing technology to this point.”
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