Number of rapid Covid-19 tests in England per week jumps one million

Ian Jones, PA
·1-min read

Nearly six million rapid tests for Covid-19 were carried out in England in the week to April 21, new figures show – a million more than the previous week.

Since April 9, everyone in England has been eligible for rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week.

Rapid tests, or lateral flow device (LFD) tests, are swab tests that give results in 30 minutes or less without the need for processing in a laboratory.

Most of these tests are conducted under supervision in settings such as schools, care homes and workplaces, though some can now be carried out by people in their home who are then expected to report the result.

(PA graphic)
(PA graphic)

Just under 5.8 million rapid tests were carried out in England in the seven days to April 21, according to the latest Test and Trace figures – up from nearly 4.8 million in the previous week.

The number of rapid tests peaked at just over 7.6 million in the week to March 17, which coincided with the return of secondary students to school.

The number fell in subsequent weeks, before rising again from early April.

The figures also show that 962,997 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were conducted in the week to April 21.

PCR tests are swab tests that are processed in a laboratory.

All positive rapid tests must be followed by confirmatory PCR test.

In total, 16,776 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the seven days to April 21.

This is down 9% on the previous week and is the lowest number since the week to September 2 2020.