Soon you'll be able to test if you've got coronavirus, and recovered from it, in just 15 minutes using a coronavirus home test kit. These will be available from retailers such as Boots and Amazon within a few days, according to a director of Public Health England (PHE).
The UK government has ordered 3.5 million coronavirus test kits, initially targeted at key workers, with many more on the way. The kits are currently being tested.
In a statement to the UK government's Science and Technology Committee, Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the National Infection Service at PHE, said:
"In the near future people will be able to order a test that they can test themselves, or go to Boots, or somewhere similar to have their finger prick test done.
“Several million tests have been purchased for use. 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.”
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The antibody tests, done with just a prick of the finger, might allow key workers like doctors, nurses and supermarket employees to be able to return to work by checking if the user has developed coronavirus-fighting antibodies.
However, before retailers like Amazon and Boots are allowed to distribute the blood-testing kits, they have to be road-tested in a laboratory to ensure they're working as required. This is anticipated to be completed by the end of the week.
There's currently no word on how much the kits will cost. Keep checking back: we'll provide links to where you can find the kits, how much they'll cost and more as soon as the information becomes available.
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