Suffolk Freemason involved in new test to control Coronavirus

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

A company run by a newly initiated Suffolk Freemason could be at the forefront of coronavirus diagnosis as it works to develop a test kit that can be used in the clinic, the high street, in the GPs office or even at home

Iceni Diagnostics, which is based at the Norwich Research Park, has previously created kits that can identify influenza, equine flu and norovirus

Now the company is focusing all its energy on creating a kit that can give users a yes or no answer in minutes on whether they have coronavirus. Dr Berwyn Clarke is the chairman of the company and is a member of Abbey Lodge in Bury St Edmunds, having been initiated in December 2019. The test will look like a pregnancy test, with users putting their saliva on the end of the stick. Within 20 minutes, the test will tell you whether you have the coronavirus or not.

Dr Clarke has spent many years as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry.

Dr Clarke said: 'This could change it all. Current strategies being used in pandemic management are focused on identifying infected individuals to try to track infections, isolate carriers and make return to work and normal life safe. The new technology would be a huge enabler for this, allowing rapid screening in all environments, even on a daily basis if necessary. This could include workplace, airports, public transport, restaurants, sporting events or even lodge meetings.'

Originally from Wales where his father was a Freemason in Risca, he has lived in East Anglia for over 30 years and considered becoming a Freemason after rediscovering his late father’s apron in 2016. Berwyn was scheduled for his second degree in May 2020 and is looking forward to normality returning, perhaps even using the new technology, in the near future.

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