UEA's new coronavirus test available for hundreds more patients a day at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital

A coronavirus test devised by the University of East Anglia means hundreds more patients can be tested every day at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The new test, designed by the UEA’s medical school, can be used 200 times a day, with a potential to reach 500.

It was created in less than a month and went into use at the hospital last week.

The Government pledged to carry out 100,000 tests a day by the end of April but it is struggling to get to 20,000 daily at the moment.

NHS staff have been tested in Norfolk for the past three weeks, but with limited resources.

Some care home staff have also not been able to get tested locally, with carers from Hunstanton told to travel to Sheffield.

However, with this new test, the UEA believes local testing capacity can be increased.

Currently we have the potential capacity to do over 5,000 tests which can be increased if required. With support of the Earlham Institute and the Quadram Institute the test was developed in three weeks. "We are here to help and ready to support the hospital during this crisis. From the moment we obtain the patient’s sample it takes four hours for us to get the results."

Dr Stuart Rushworth, Norwich Medical School

The UEA medical school is also developing an antibody test which will show whether or not someone has had coronavirus.