The United Kingdom government is set to hand more than 40 billion pounds to companies that can help in its drive to ramp up mass coronavirus testing.
Public Health England put out a 22 billion-pound ($29 billion) contract to bid final week for a new “national microbiology framework agreement,” which includes the manufacture and development of tests for two years, with the option to extend for another two years.
A separate bid worth 20 billion pounds from the National Health Service Provide Chain, which manages the sourcing and provide of healthcare products, involves on-the-spot tests and diagnostic equipment.
The government has also issued a third bid worth 912 million pounds for the provide of rapid turnaround lateral glide tests. The complete scale of the contracts — bigger than the once a year budgets of a few government departments — used to be revealed by the Financial Times on Tuesday.
A Branch of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “As a part of an unprecedented response to this global pandemic we have drawn on the expertise and resources of quite a lot of private and non-private sector partners to beef up our testing program.”
The complete represented the maximum value of the contracts and not necessarily the last amount that will be spent, the DHSC said.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told in September of his hopes for millions of Covid-19 tests to be processed day-to-day — a plan dubbed “Operation Moonshot” — in a tender to help Britain to go back to normal life as soon as conceivable.
Liverpool in northwest England became the first city to undertake a mass testing program final week, and the government said Tuesday this could be rolled out to 66 other native areas.