Government opening two coronavirus ‘mega labs’ to process 600,000 tests a day

The Government will open two new “megalabs” early next year to process up to 600,000 coronavirus tests a day.

They will be set up in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, and Scotland to provide faster turnaround times for results, according to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Along with Covid-19 tests, the labs will also be used for critical illness including cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We didn't go into this crisis with a significant diagnostics industry, but we have built one, and these two mega labs are another step forward.

"Transforming the UK's diagnostic facilities is not only essential to beating this virus, but it is necessary to build back better – so we are better prepared in future for testing on a massive scale."

Scotland's Health Secretary Jeane Freeman called the Scottish lab an "important step in our fight against the virus", but said its location is yet to be confirmed.

The latest data on the Government's coronavirus dashboard shows capacity on Sunday, November 15, was at an estimated 519,951 tests – with 379,955 actually processed.

The Government also confirmed a further 168 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.

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As of 9am on Sunday, there had been a further 24,962 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, according to Government data.

Meanwhile,Boris Johnsonhas said he is "in good heath" after being told to self-isolate for two weeks.

The Prime Minister came into contact with a Tory minister who later tested positive for the coronavirus , Downing Street confirmed on Sunday evening, November 15.

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He was notified by theNHSTest and Trace, and will now have to chair government meetings on Zoom.

Johnson tweeted this morning: "I'm in good health and have no symptoms, and will continue to lead on our response to the virus & our plans to #BuildBackBetter."

Johnson held a 35-minute meeting on Thursday, November 12, with a small group of Conservative politicians including Lee Anderson, the MP for Ashfield.

The 53-year-old afterwards developed Covid-19 symptoms and tested positive.

Anderson posted a picture of the pair standing apart after the meeting – with neither of them wearing masks.

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