Universities tapped in drive to step up COVID-19 testing

University scientists in the United Kingdom are being urged by the National Health Service (NHS) to volunteer in overstretched coronavirus testing facilities which are coming under strain as they try to meet surging demand, write Nathalie Thomas, Camilla Hodgson and Donato Paolo Mancini for the Financial Times.

Britain’s slow uptake of testing has been criticised by public health experts, who say aggressive contact tracing and large-scale testing have helped countries such as South Korea and Taiwan tame the epidemic, lessening the burden on national health services.

Scientists at universities, including in London, Reading and Birmingham, with a background in molecular biology have been asked to sign up by their local NHS Trusts for shifts at their nearest testing facility, according to people familiar with the matter. In Birmingham, more than 60 staff from the city’s university have volunteered for local Public Health England and NHS labs.
Full report on the FT site