newsdog Facebook

A simple coronavirus home-testing kit will soon be available to order on Amazon in the UK

Business Insider 2020-03-25 21:44:00

  • Home-testing kits which indicate whether you have ever been infected with the coronavirus will be rolled out across the UK "within days," the UK Parliament has been told.
  • Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, said the group had developed simple finger-prick tests.
  • The tests will be available in chemists and online retailers like Amazon.
  • They could mean that thousands of workers can return to normal life much sooner than expected.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Simple home-testing kits which indicate whether somebody has ever been infected with the coronavirus will available to order in the UK within days, Members of Parliament have been told.

Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, told the UK parliament on Wednesday that the group had developed finger-prick tests which establish whether a person has ever been infected with the virus.

She said it would initially allow key workers, particularly NHS staff, to return to work after their illness, as they would have developed immunity to the virus, but confirmed they would be available to the wider population soon afterwards.

Peacock said that the tests were currently being evaluated to confirm whether they worked, which she said would happen by the end of the week, after which "several million" would be rolled out across the country.

Once rolled out, the public will be able to buy the tests via services like Amazon and in high-street pharmacists, Peacock said. Users will carry out the pin-prick test, then send the sample to a laboratory.

It has potentially huge implications because it could allow people to return to work and resume normal life as they will not be able to pick up the infection.

The government has not indicated whether it would be willing to lift the strict lockdown measures it imposed this week upon British citizens if they were able to prove that they had developed antibodies which are resistant to the disease.

"Once we are assured that they do work, they will be rolled out into the community," Peacock told the Health & Science select committee on Wednesday.

"Testing the test is a small matter, and I anticipate that it will be done by the end of this week.

"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."

Asked if she meant the tests would be ready for roll-out within days rather than weeks, she said: "Absolutely."