Coronavirus home- testing kits should be available 'within days'

The Government has bought 3.5m tests, similar to the above, which will be available on the high street or by delivery (PA Images)
15:40pm, Thu 26 Mar 2020
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Millions of coronavirus home-testing kits could soon be available in the UK, say Public Health England.

The Government has bought 3.5m tests which will be available on the high street or by delivery through Amazon to people self-isolating.

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 could be possible within days.

She said: "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."

Dr Hilary Jones revealed one of the test kits on Good Morning Britain today, explaining that it identifies whether you have had the virus and are now immune or could still be at risk.

He said it was much like a pregnancy test, but people would need to supply a drop of blood instead to identity whether they’ve carried the antibodies.

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This will be extremely useful for health care professionals because it tells them whether they can work with patients or whether they should be self-isolating, he said.

However, he did have a warning about their use,  saying: “If we have this test they have to be really accurate and specific. There's no point having unreliable tests.

“People could go back to work without immunity causing more harm than good.”