Demand soars for private home COVID tests

A Liverpool COVID testing specialist is reporting soaring demand for home testing kits after the Government stopped giving out free lateral flow tests earlier this month. Tony McDonough reports

Prof Frank Joseph
Prof Frank Joseph, founder and medical director at DAM Health


Liverpool COVID-testing specialist DAM Health says it is being “inundated” with requests for home testing kits after the Government stopped handing out free lateral flow tests.

DAM, which has seen a rapid expansion of its COVID testing network both in the UK and overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic, is reporting huge demand for home tests from both members of the public and businesses.

Since early April the Government has adopted a ‘get-back-to-normal’ approach to COVID. All restrictions, such as face masks in shops, have now been lifted and the NHS has now stopped offering free lateral flow tests.

However, while the wide take-up of the vaccine has significantly cut the numbers of people suffering serious symptoms and deaths, COVID cases and hospitalisations have remained stubbornly high. Last week the Office for National Statistics estimated 3.7m at a time were still being infected by the virus.

DAM also says many people are still concerned about the emergence of new COVID variants. Prof Frank Joseph, founder and medical director at DAM Health, said: “Concerns about Covid-19 are not going away.

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“In fact, we are seeing more and more people turn to us for home testing kits now after free testing ended on the NHS, and particularly as people start to socialise in greater numbers as the warmer weather comes in. There was an unprecedented demand for home testing kits ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend.

“It is safe to say the demand for home testing was greater than it was this time last year and so we’ve expanded our operational team to fulfil the massive number of orders we’re receiving.


A COVID-19 lateral flow test
The Government is no longer giving out free COVID-19 lateral flow tests


“We are hearing from people who are worried about the Omicron XE variant and they are being extra cautious by testing themselves at home before mixing. People are being safe which is still very important.”

Professor Joseph, who also works in the NHS at the Countess Of Chester Hospital, added: “By taking a lateral flow test before you meet up, you can protect people close to you and help ease the pressure on health and social services.

“It is particularly important to keep testing before visiting or meeting someone who is older or more vulnerable and there are clear signs that people will continue to do this long into the future.”

DAM Health has sent supplies testing equipment, sanitising products and financial aid to less economically developed countries to help the battle against the disease. In addition to supplying home testing kits, the private health firm operates diagnostics clinics across the UK, Europe and Mexico.

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