CORONAVIRUS testing kits are to be made available around the UK in the coming days as Public Health England (PHE) moves forward with its latest initiative to stop the spread of the disease.
Thousands of 15-minute home tests for the virus will be delivered by Amazon to people with symptoms in self-isolation, and will also be going on sale on the high street within days.
PHE say that the kits are in the very last stages of testing and are ready to be rolled out across the country in a move that could restore many people’s lives to a semblance of pre-lockdown normality.
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 UK would be possible by next week, according to the Guardian.
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 test itself involves pricking the finger to produce a drop of blood, which is then analysed by the device.
It detects the presence of IGM, an antibody that arises very early on in the infection, and IGG, which is increased in the body’s response to the virus. The results of some of the tests on order can be read by anyone, but others would need to be interpreted by healthcare professionals.
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.
“Several million tests have been purchased for use," said Prof Peacock.
"These are brand new products. We have to be clear they work as they are claimed to do. Once they have been tested this week and the bulk of tests arrive, they will be distributed into the community."