Boots, the British pharmacy chain, announced that it is launching a new coronavirus testing service that can give results in just 12 minutes.
The test has proved 97% accurate in trials and is reported to be available in a couple of weeks as 200 branches are anticipated to provide tests by Christmas.
Sebastian James, the CEO at Boots, confirmed that the rapid test will initially charge £120, but as the demands will surge, the price might reduce. He called this the first move towards mass testing on high streets and a way to help the people of Britain to get back to normal life again.
The tests are focused on the people who are asymptomatic but need some mental relief, however, the individuals who suspect that they might have got infected by the coronavirus are advised to visit an NHS testing station. Boots believes that this rapid test will decrease the pressure on NHS and government testing programs.
The pharmacy company has recently purchased 100 portable devices from Lumira, a US diagnostics firm, that can give test results in just a few minutes.
The tests are conducted by trained staff in private rooms in a local store and can be booked using an online app. Anyone who tests positive is told to self-isolate for 10 days and others who have come in contact with a COVID-positive patient or live with them are instructed to self-isolate for 14 days.
Currently, the service is available in 10 stores located in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Edinburgh for customers traveling to UAE, and the company plans to roll out a wider service to more than 50 stores in the UK in the next few weeks.
Sebastian James stated that the company does not aim to make profits out of the tests, but it is only covering the costs as there is a huge upfront expense for all the kit. The fees cover third party laboratory testing, digital services, courier services, staff wages, and VAT, according to the reports.