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UK government calls for increased supply of COVID-19 testing kits

The UK government has reached out to the life sciences sector to ask potential suppliers of COVID-19 testing kits to get in contact.

COVID-19 testing kit

The UK government has made an urgent call to the life sciences sector to help increase the supply of antigen testing kits for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The requirement is for commercial supply of the following:

  • Full testing packages 
    Any of the separate components within the testing package
    Any alternative tests government should be considering

The specification for a testing kit is as follows:

  1. Swabs:
    Nasopharangeal (Floxsynthetic fiber tipped (polyester) or flocked swabs) with polystyrene shafts that are scored at 80mm for a breakpoint
    Nasopharyngeal (minitip) are currently preferred
    No discoloration on the swab bud (ie, yellowing or brown discoloration)
    Sterilised and individually wrapped
    No calcium alginate swabs
    No swabs with wooden shafts
    Nose and throat swabs (Rayon tipped – US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review in process)
  2. Sample vial:
    Glass (20.25 +- 0.25 x 47.25+- 0.5) and plastic (TBD)
  3. Viral transport medium:
    COVID-19 transport medium
  4. Alcohol/sanitiser wipes
  5. Re-packaging (storage/biohazard packaging)
    Vial wrap – specification TBD
    Sealed zip lock bag
    Second bag (plastic/cushioned)
    Sealable container – ‘biobottle’
    Postal ‘biobox’. 

In addition, there is also a requirement for swabs for PCR diagnostic testing. 

Any organisations that can supply for sale any or all of the above should email click here

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