Thursday, 01 October, 2020

Britons will soon be able to test for coronavirus immunity: gov't

Capillary blood is drawn from a fingertip during a demonstration at Sure Screen Diagnostics based in Derby of a test they have manufactured which claims to be 98% accurate in determining if a person is infected with coronavirus costs £6 and can be used Capillary blood is drawn from a fingertip during a demonstration of a coronavirus test More
Deanna Wagner | 25 March, 2020, 22:24

These are brand new products.

The UK will have test kits available within days to be sent to households to establish whether people have contracted the new coronavirus and developed immunity, a health official said on Wednesday.

"Several million tests have been purchased for use", said Professor Peacock, who said the antibody tests are also being ordered across Europe and Southeast Asia.

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

The testing kit will first be validated in Oxford to ensure it works as well as scientists hope.

"As the global demand for our COVID-19 test continues to increase, we are pleased to have rapidly established a relationship with the expert team at Yourgene to further expand our manufacturing capacity", Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said.

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

Prof Peacock said a small number of tests - which show whether an individual has antibodies for Covid-19 - would be tested in a laboratory before being distributed via Amazon and in places like Boots.

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But Deputy Economy Minister Antonio Misiani told Reuters the coronavirus emergency made such restrictions redundant. The number of recoveries had also increased, with 408 more people cured by Monday, reaching a total of 7,432.

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.

Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told reporters: "We've now bought 3.5 million antibody tests that will allow people to see whether they have had the virus and are immune to it and then can get back to work".

The kits resemble a home pregnancy test and require patients to prick their fingers before placing a drop of blood in the test zone. Except that you're putting a finger with a spot of blood on there.

The tests "can see if you have antibodies, in which case you know you had the infection", she added.

"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.

"This is not just for key workers, it's for the general population".

Prof Peacock said she couldn't comment on whether the tests would be charged for but predicted there "would be an absolutely minimal charge if there was a charge".

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