United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson is imaging a new and bold strategy to bring the nation back to normalcy amid the now ever present coronavirus pandemic: test 10 million citizens every day. Calling the plan "Operation Moonshot," Johnson wants to test all 67 million residents every week at the cost of $130 billion to bring life back to the way it was before the virus's outbreak.
Yet, massive population-wide testing for the coronavirus is entirely unprecedented as the most accurate of tests require laboratories and at least 24 hours to produce results. Many skeptics of the plan argue that such a mass screening with less accurate, but faster tests would produce many false positives and negatives which would defeat the purpose of such an operation.
The Operation Moonshot's plan does note that the nation will need time to delivering a strong testing strategy at such a scale would, "mean developing, validating, procuring, and operationalizing testing technology that currently does not exist," quoted by the Washington Post.
But Johnson is confident in his plan, pushing forward that the nation will be able to deploy the operation by early 2021, being able to deliver results in as little as 20 minutes so that public events can be restored whether or not a vaccine is approved.
"Crucially, it should be possible to deploy these tests on a far bigger scale than any country has yet achieved--literally millions of tests processed every single day," Johnson stated during a formal press announcement, quoted by Sky News. "Now that is an ambitious agenda, but we are going to pilot this approach in Salford from next month...and then we hope to go nationwide."
"We're hoping the 'Moonshot' approach will work and we will be able to deliver mass testing which will give people that freedom pass, the 'laissez-passer', the knowledge that they are not infectious and hang out with other people who are not infectious in a pre-COVID way," Johnson added.
Over the weekend, AstraZeneca
While the resumption of the trial has lifted global hopes that a safe and efficient vaccine will be available as soon as possible, Reuters sources say that the United States's trial will remain halted until at least the mid-week as it it not clear as to when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will complete its probe into the manner.