Saturday, 30 May, 2020

United Kingdom coronavirus test with 20-minute wait being trialled

Superdrug now selling coronavirus antibody tests for £69 17% of Londoners Have Had COVID-19, Health Secretary Says
Gustavo Carr | 23 May, 2020, 07:13

The UK government will start rolling out 10 million antibody tests in Britain next week, in what has been called a "game changer" in managing the coronavirus.

Separately, he outlined preliminary findings from research involving antibody tests which suggest 5 per cent of people nationally, and 17 per cent in London, have already had the virus.

"Because until we are absolutely sure about the relationship between the positive antibody tests and immunity, I think we as scientists would say we need to tread cautiously". Check your state's restrictions on gathering limits.

The UK government is, however, seemingly pressing on regardless, and also arranging supplies for the devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with each part of the UK deciding how to use its test allocation.

They will learn more about who is most at risk from coronavirus, who is more likely to die and who is more likely to transmit it to others. "We don't yet know whether antibodies mean you are immune".

If the test proves accurate and as rapid as billed, it will greatly help the government's plans for a test and trace system to pick up new outbreaks of coronavirus once lockdown ruled are further eased. There is also a possibility of a false positive if it's unlikely the patient has had COVID-19 based on exposure history or symptoms.

"Our action today is an important step the agency has taken to ensure that Americans have access to trustworthy tests", FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D., said in an agency statement.

Immunity certificates for those who have already had coronavirus could be introduced in the UK
Immunity certificates for those who have already had coronavirus could be introduced in the UK

Under a policy in place from mid-March through early May, the agency allowed over 180 antibody blood tests to be sold and distributed in the USA without federal review but with certain conditions for manufacturers: They must notify the FDA of their plans, perform self-validation studies and carry a label saying the product is not authorized and incapable of diagnosing COVID-19 on its own.

The swab test will be carried out in a number of A&E departments, GP testing hubs and care homes in the county in a trial lasting up to six weeks.

Hancock said yesterday: "This new test could provide accurate results nearly on the spot".

Hancock also said that Britain would trial a new antigen test - which shows whether people now have COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus - that would return results in 20 minutes without needing to be sent to a lab for processing.

"So, we are essentially having a winter in health terms, in terms of mortality, but in late spring and early summer".

Hancock played down the importance of the delayed app in the process.

If the pilot is successful the test, developed by United Kingdom manufacturer Optigene, will be rolled out more widely, the department said.

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