Bedford company chosen to make 'instant' Covid tests

It joins two other UK companies

Global Access Diagnostics is one of three companies chosen by the Department of Health to produce rapid Covid-19 tests.

It will join Omega Diagnostics and SureScreen.

Global Access Diagnostics is a high-volume manufacturing enterprise in Thurleigh and currently has 70 employees.

Global Access Diagnostics is one of three companies chosen by the Department of Health to produce rapid Covid-19 tests

However, it is planning to rapidly boost that figure by 210 by April, having received close to £1million in funding from the Government and about £10million in equipment.

Omega CEO Colin King said in a statement: “We are delighted to formalise our relationship with the UK government, and to utilise our lateral flow test production capacity to support the Covid-19 mass testing programme being rolled out across the country.”

Until now, the UK has been almost entirely reliant on limited Covid-19 testing supplies from the US and China.

It has spent at least £1.5billion on the tests – the bulk of which has gone to US company Innova, which has received £1billion in contracts to procure hundreds of millions of devices which are manufactured in China.