Covid-19 home tests available soon, government scientist says
Covid-19 home tests available soon, government scientist says
Samples are tested
25 March, 2020, 22:26
Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Lewes, said: "It might be a little while longer until the general population can have enough tests".
Public Health England has ordered millions of the kits, which are being evaluated at a lab on Oxford.
Prof Sharon Peacock, the director of the national infection service at PHE, told MPs on the science and technology committee that mass testing in the United Kingdom would be possible by next week, according to the Guardian.
Peacock said she thought any charge for the tests would be minimal and although she declined to say they would be available by next week, she confirmed that they would be ready in days rather than weeks or months.
Wearing a protective suit, a research and development company employee works on the production of coronavirus testing kits in Turkey.
CORONAVIRUS testing kits are to be made available around the United Kingdom in the coming days as Public Health England (PHE) moves forward with its latest initiative to stop the spread of the disease.
The news comes as the United Kingdom has entered lockdown in an attempt to stop the further spread of the novel coronavirus, and will hopefully allow people - including NHS doctors and nurses - to make quicker and more accurate decisions about the patients they are seeing who have symptoms.
She said the tests would also allow key workers - like doctors and nurses - to go back to work if they have developed antibodies. "We are not alone in doing this", she said.
Capacity will then continue to be ramped up towards 250,000 tests per day, according to the department. These are brand new products.
She added that a small number of tests would be assessed in a laboratory before being distributed.
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 antibody tests analyse blood extracted with a finger prick and produce results in 10-15 minutes.
The test detects the presence of IGM, an antibody that you see in the very early stages of coronavirus infection.
Public Health England will be asking some people to have a second blood test, checked with a "gold standard" test, to make sure the kits are working properly, Prof Peacock said.
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