The machines, 13 of which were from the Schools of Medicine and Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham, and three from Nottingham Trent University were collected by the British Armed Forces. They have a total value of £1 million and can together perform an estimated 20,000 tests a day.
Using a technique of testing called Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, the machines can also be used to test for other viruses such as Hepatitis C and influenzas.

Professor Nigel Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation, at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Whilst we’re busy supporting our staff and students in this unprecedented situation, we are also committed to support people beyond the university both locally and nationally.

“This equipment which is normally used by our researchers will be vital to the national response to COVID-19 and we’re delighted to be working with our friends at the University of Nottingham on this.”

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The news comes as more than 600 students from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham have volunteered to help local hospitals and support NHS staff or researchers responding to the requests from the national government.

Professor Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Nottingham, said: “At this time of unprecedented crisis, the University of Nottingham is committed to supporting our communities, local partners and nation. Already, our researchers, staff and students are working with national government, local hospitals, GP surgeries, Councils and across our communities. The enthusiasm, selflessness and skill of our students and staff has been inspiring to see in action.

“We are so proud of our fantastic medical students organising hundreds of volunteers through their society to help the local front line effort. Of course none of this vital work can be done without the tireless support from our administrative, technical, estates and cleaning staff.”