Millions to receive new rapid Covid tests which have been be done differently

New Covid tests, soon be sent to millions across Wales, are a different type of lateral flow kit and only require nose swabs

COVID-19 Antigen Rapid selftest
An example of the new Covid test kits

New Covid tests are being sent out to millions living in Wales and these tests need to be done differently from the old kits.

The lateral flow kits look different and only require a nasal swab, instead of a throat swab too, meaning the instrument is shorter, reports Wales Online.

They are posted to home addresses in a box branded Flowflex and described as “a SARS-Cov-2-Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing)”.

Inside the box, an instruction leaflet warns: “This test may be different from those you have used before.”

The swab needs to be swiped around each nostril five times and the same applies to children under 12.

The new Covid tests come with a shorter nasal swab


Alvaro Laguna/Pacific Press/REX/Shutterstock)

Instructions detail how to transfer the liquid to the test and place four drops onto the test cassette.

The Welsh Government said Wales received a population share of lateral flow tests available across the UK which includes both the old and new kits.

A spokesperson added: “All lateral flow devices distributed have gone through rigorous validation and are proven to be highly effective at detecting individuals who are infectious with Covid-19.

“Nose-only tests have just begun to be distributed in Wales and guidance is being updated to reflect this on our channels.

“The packs of tests themselves include instructions which describe how the user should take the swab sample.

“We expect that both nose and throat and nose-only tests will continue to be available.”

They are still available through the post but arrive in a different box


Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

New testing rules across the UK mean you do not have to have a PCR test if you get a positive lateral flow result as long as you do not have Covid symptoms.

Those who test positive on a lateral flow device (LFD) must self-isolate immediately and register their result on the Government website.

Welsh Government health minister Eluned Morgan said on Tuesday that there are no plans to stop providing free lateral flow tests in Wales after reports emerged suggesting the UK Government was planning to do so.

Baroness Morgan told the Senedd people should report their results from their lateral flow tests online.

The kits are under a different brand


Sophs Forte / SWNS)

Some scientists have said people can transmit Omicron when it has infected their throat and saliva, but before the virus has reached their noses so swabbing the nostrils early in the infection will not pick it up.

A small recent study in America, of 29 people, found PCR tests pick up the disease three days before nose samples.

Rapid tests tend to have lower sensitivity than lab-processed PCR tests meaning they produce more false negatives but if you test positive you almost certainly have Covid-19.

A spokesperson for the UK Health Security Agency said: “All lateral flow devices used by NHS Test and Trace have gone through rigorous validation and are proven to be highly effective at detecting Covid-19 in people.

“We are currently seeing high numbers of positive LFD reported. This means we are detecting tens of thousands of cases that may otherwise have gone undetected.”

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