Coronavirus "megalabs" expected early 2021
Two new coronavirus “megalabs”, due to open in early 2021, are expected to double the UK's daily testing capacity, the UK Government has announced.
With one of the labs expected to be based in Scotland and the other conformed for Leamington Spa, capacity will increase by 600,000 tests, up from the current potential capacity of around 519,000 per day.
The labs will create around 4,000 jobs.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman welcomed the move, saying the Scottish and UK governments were working to choose a location for the Scottish-based lab, which will also process tests for other illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Freeman said: “The establishment of a COVID-19 ultra-high throughput lab in Scotland is an important step in our fight against the virus. When fully operational this highly sensitive diagnostic laboratory will process up to 300,000 samples a day, significantly increasing the testing and diagnostic capacity of the country.
“The location of the megalab in Scotland is still to be confirmed and we are working closely with our counterparts in the UK Government on this. The facility, which will follow on from the lab in Leamington Spa, will also have the flexibility to provide diagnostic capability in the future for other diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and will support Scotland’s growing precision medicine industry.
“In addition the lab is also expected to create around 1800 jobs once fully operational.”