A MEDICAL equipment company which came close to its own Covid-19 outbreak is offering Halstead businesses the rapid tests which helped it avert disaster.

Meditech, based on Halstead’s Bluebridge Industrial Estate, specialises in medical gas equipment such as ventilators and has spent the pandemic supplying huge amounts of kit to the NHS.

They include the Nightingale hospitals and ambulance services, and now Meditech is helping to equip vaccine centres with medical oxygen devices.

However, the company came close to its own coronavirus outbreak on the first day back at work after the Christmas period.

Employees returned to work on January 4 but were first required to take a rapid Covid test.

The nasal swab tests usually give a result in around 15 minutes, with employees using them from their cars.

One employee tested positive despite having no symptoms.

The result was later confirmed at an official test centre.

As a result, the company was able to to avoid a potential coronavirus outbreak.

Now, after stocking up on the rapid tests kits, Meditech is offering them to Halstead businesses to help keep them safe during the pandemic.

A spokesman said: “Over the Christmas period a decision was made to test all members of staff before entering the building.

“We conducted a quick market review, identified a suitable test kit and purchased some.

“On the Monday morning, we tested everyone and we had one positive test result back.

“The person who tested positive then went to one of the NHS testing centres and tested positive again.

“By taking this action, primarily we safeguarded all staff members and helped stop a potential Covid-19 outbreak within the company, and secondly it allowed us to be open for business and continue supplying our medical oxygen devices to the vaccine clinics across the UK.

“Based on our experience with the kits, we wanted to make these readily available to businesses in the local area and further afield to help other companies safeguard employees and ensure they can stay open during a very difficult economic time.

“Based on this we now have a very quick supply chain for these kits and we are offering them to anyone who needs them.

“We have ensured that the pricing we are offering is very competitive.”