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Liverpool to be first England place to take part in citywide coronavirus testing

Christian Fernsby |
The coronavirus hotspot city of Liverpool will be the first place in England to take part in a citywide coronavirus test in a pilot scheme starting on Friday, the British government said Tuesday.

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Announcing the pilot scheme, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "These tests will help identify the many thousands of people in the city who don't have symptoms but can still infect others without knowing."

Under the scheme, everyone living or working in Liverpool will be tested using a combination of existing swab tests, as well as 500,000 new lateral flow tests, which can rapidly turn around results within an hour without the need to be processed in a lab.

People will be able to book a test online, by walking into a test center, or by invitation from the city council, Sky news reported.

Tests will be carried out at new and existing test sites, using home kits, in hospitals, care homes, schools, universities and workplaces, it added.

"We are pleased Liverpool is becoming a pilot for mass testing, which will help to quickly identify people who have the virus and reduce transmission substantially," said Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.

Liverpool, the first British city to enter the British government's top-tier localized lockdown zone last month, currently has one of the highest coronavirus rates in England at 366.4 cases per 100,000.

Another 18,950 people in Britain have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,053,864, according to official figures released Monday.

The coronavirus related deaths in Britain rose by 136 to 46,853, the data showed.

Johnson announced Saturday that England will enter a month long lockdown from Thursday in a bid to quell the resurgence of the coronavirus.

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