By Karim El-Bar
LONDON (AA) – New types of tests for the novel coronavirus will be able to detect COVID-19 within 90 minutes and will be rolled out nationwide, local media reported on Monday.
The two new tests do not require trained staff to administer them, and can detect coronavirus in 90 minutes. They can also pick up other viruses, like the flu.
"The fact these tests can detect flu as well as COVID-19 will be hugely beneficial as we head into winter, so patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others," said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The tests will be used in care homes and labs from next week, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he wants 500,000 tests a day by October ahead of flu season and a possible second wave of coronavirus and flu season.
The government also launched its Eat out to Help Out scheme today, which offers 50% off of food up to £10 ($13) per person. The scheme runs until the end of the month, and is a bid to boost the struggling hospitality sector.
The Department of Health announced on Monday nine more people died of the disease across the UK over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 46,120. There were a further 938 confirmed cases, bringing the UK total to 305,623.
Yesterday, a "major incident" was declared in the northern English region of Greater Manchester due to a rise in infections.
The declaration often comes after a terrorist attack or natural disaster, and allows an area to claim extra resources, and even call in the army, if needs be.
Local politicians sought to downplay the decision.
Sir Richard Leese, the head of Manchester City Council, said it was a "standard practice for complex situations which require a coordinated multi-agency response."
"Although the council and partner organizations have been working closely to tackle the impacts of the pandemic since early this year, declaring a major incident means we can ramp this up further," he said.
Lockdown restrictions were tightened in the region, banning people from mixing with others from different households.
However, pubs, restaurants, cafes, and gyms remain open, though the government has asked people not to socialize with people outside their households in these settings.