News

Novel coronavirus testing

Published: 10 Feb 2020 00:01

Two Scottish facilities established.

Two testing facilities for possible cases of novel coronavirus are being established in Scotland.

From today (Monday) two laboratories, one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh, will begin to process all tests from Scotland.

The new Scottish facilities mean negative test results can be returned quicker. Previously, all samples have been sent to London for testing.

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, said:

“Ever since the beginning of this global outbreak we have been working hard to develop a testing facility within Scotland. I am pleased that we will now have two Scottish facilities, greatly reducing the time it takes to confirm negative results.

“Although all Scottish tests have so far been negative, we are prepared for the high likelihood that we will also see a positive case in Scotland.

“Our NHS is well equipped to deal with infections of this kind. We have a proven track record of dealing with challenging health issues, and have been preparing for this possibility since the beginning of the outbreak.”

Background

Existing NHS laboratories based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh are being equipped with the technology to test for novel coronavirus.

Should a test result come back positive, the sample will be sent to Public Health England’s Colindale laboratory in London for a confirmatory test.

Under the terms of International Health Regulations, high consequence infectious diseases like novel coronavirus are reportable to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Positive tests from new testing centres across the UK are in the process of continuous validation and this requires additional confirmatory testing to be undertaken in the WHO designated testing centre at Colindale.

The latest numbers of test results are published at 2pm each day on the Scottish Government website.