UK government: Coronavirus home tests will not be available next week

  • The UK government’s chief medical adviser has stated that home coronavirus tests will not be available within days, after wide speculation that they would be.

    Prof Sharon Peacock, director of the national infection service at Public Health England told MPs on the science and technology committee that the tests were currently being trialled and could be made available to the public within days.

    However chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty has since said: "I do not think - and I want to be clear - that this is something we'll suddenly be ordering on the internet next week.

    "The one thing that is worse than no test is a bad test."

    The test detects antibodies that show up in the early infection stages of coronavirus and are increased due to the body’s response to the disease.

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    If accurate and successful, these tests will enable people to know if they have had the virus and are therefore possibly immune, meaning they may not need to work from home anymore and can resume their normal routines.

    The BBC reported that “experts needed to ensure the right people get the test first in order to allow workers to go back".

    BBC News added that these are currently only available to hospital patients, but there are plans to extend them to NHS workers.

    Health secretary Matt Hancock said the UK government is ordering millions more of the coronavirus tests after buying 3.5m of them on Tuesday.

    Source: The Guardian, The Independent, BBC News

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