Published: Wed, March 25, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Home Coronavirus Antibody Kits To Be Available 'In Days' Across The UK

Home Coronavirus Antibody Kits To Be Available 'In Days' Across The UK

"But we do need to ensure we understand how they operate, because these are brand new tests".

Simple home-testing kits which indicate whether somebody has ever been infected with the coronavirus will available to order in the United Kingdom within days, Members of Parliament have been told.

Asked if she meant the tests would be ready for roll-out within days rather than weeks, she said: "Absolutely".

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Lewes, said: "It might be a little while longer until the general population can have enough tests".

The antibody test will aim to establish whether somebody has recovered from COVID-19, rather than whether they now have it.

Home tests for Covid-19 are likely to be available in the United Kingdom next week, a government scientist told MPs. "We are not alone in doing this", she said. "We have to be clear they work as they are claimed to do", she said.

The UK government has reportedly bought 3.5 million of the tests and plans to buy millions more in a bid to tackle the crisis head on.

The World Health Organisation has urged countries to step up testing in the global fight against coronavirus.

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It is a quick, efficient and safe alternative to going to hospital to take a test, and could end up preventing spreading on a mass scale.

"Once they have been tested, and that will happen this week, once the bulk of tests arrive, they will be distributed into the community", she said, adding that the they could be delivered via Amazon.

Prof Peacock told the committee there are "two different models", with one possible model being a test that is ordered via Amazon and performed at home before being sent back to see whether someone tests positive or negative for coronavirus.

The kits resemble a home pregnancy test and require patients to prick their fingers before placing a drop of blood in the test zone.

"Public Health England will be asking a portion of people to have their test results confirmed by a gold standard" test, to make sure the kits are working properly before they are released.

The test detects the presence of IGM, an antibody that you see in the very early stages of coronavirus infection.

Speaking to MPs, she said that if there is a charge for home testing, she believes it will be minimal.

"And that will allow them to get back to work".

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