‘COVID tests are here to stay’, Liverpool doc warns

Director of Liverpool private clinic business DAM Health UK, Professor Frank Joseph, says the rollout of the vaccine will not end the need for mass COVID-19 testing. Tony McDonough reports

COVID-19, coronavirus, testing, DAM, health
COVID-19 testing is ‘here to stay’ says Professor Frank Joseph


People and businesses will have to carry on living with COVID-19 testing “for the long term”, the founder of a Liverpool private health clinic claims.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his four-stage road map to get the UK back to normal. If the vaccine roll-out continues at the same pace and COVID cases continue to fall, all restrictions could be lifted by June 21.

However, Professor Frank Joseph director of Liverpool city centre-based DAM Health UK, has said the ending of COVID restrictions will not mean the end of COVID testing. He added: “Testing is now a way of life.”

From its headquarters in Rodney Street in Liverpool city centre, DAM operates COVID-19 testing clinics in Liverpool and Manchester and is soon to open a new clinic in Birmingham.

It has also been working with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in Barcelona to support international COVID-19 testing efforts after setting up facilities in southern Spain. And it provides PPE and PCR testing for workplaces across the UK.

Its new laboratory, in Rose Lane in Mossley Hill will become the centre of its COVID-19 testing operations. Professor Joseph says people will still need to be tested, even if they have been vaccinated, before going on holiday this summer. 

He explained: “Even with the vaccine, which only reduces the risk of people getting severe illness, we will need negative tests before travelling overseas for holidays, work and for gatherings long into the future.

Frank Joesph
Professor Frank Joseph, director of Liverpool city centre-based DAM Health UK


“Testing is likely to be a prerequisite for anyone going on holiday this summer. These tests are not advised on the NHS either, private testing clinics will be undertaking this work to provide ‘fit to fly’ certificates.

“Testing helps to stop the spread of the disease. Until we know whether the vaccine stops us from transmitting the virus, we will still need to be tested on a regular basis. Previous vaccines for other diseases have led to a decrease in transmissibility, but we can’t take anything as a given with this virus.”

Next month, DAM Health UK, will open 10 new testing clinics in London.  Professor Joseph added: “Demand for tests continues to grow at a rate I never envisaged.

“When the lockdown rules eased before Christmas, we tested almost 10,000 people who required a negative test result certificate for foreign holidays. We have since been inundated with demand from people who want to be tested before visiting extended family bubbles or loved ones in hospitals.

“We are now being inundated with requests from people in Liverpool who are planning summer holidays in June, July and August. It might add to the cost of a holiday but it is very important.” 

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