The Government is working on plans to bring a mass coronavirus testing programme to Derby and Derbyshire, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed.
Mr Hancock told the House of Commons that calls to extend and roll out the new programme to the county will be “taken up”.
The mass-testing scheme asks everyone, whether they have symptoms of Covid-19 or not, to get a test.
It aims to find as many people as possible who may have the virus, many of whom will not display symptoms, and if they test positive, to self-isolate and stall the spread of the virus in the community.
Last week it was announced Covid-19 testing will be introduced across a further 66 council areas after a successful pilot scheme in Liverpool, one of the worst hit UK cities in the pandemic.
But Derbyshire County Council told Derbyshire Live that it is was not among those selected.
However, Mr Hancock said he was happy to work with the county to “make this happen” after he was asked a question by South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler on the subject.
Mrs Wheeler asked Mr Hancock if the mass testing could be rolled out to Derby and Derbyshire.
Mr Hancock responded: “While we are now issuing test kits to 84 directors of Public Health across the country and I’m very happy to work with Derbyshire and Derby to make sure that their request and my honourable friend’s request is taken up and we can make this happen.”
The news comes as Derby is to become one of the first places in the UK to administer the coronavirus vaccine once it is approved and the national programme is rolled out.
A temporary Covid-19 vaccination centre will be set up in the city and Derby Arena on Pride Park is being considered as the venue.
It was announced nationally last week that initial results indicated that the first effective coronavirus vaccine had been found.