Coronavirus home testing kits could be available to buy from shops like Amazon or Boots within a “matter of days”.
Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England (PHE), told MPs that 3.5 million finger prick blood tests had been bought and would be available in the “near future”.
It would mark a significant increase in the amount of testing currently being undertaken in the country.
The Government has said it would ramp up testing to 25,000 people a day, although the current figure is between 5,000 and 6,000.
Once we are assured that they do work, they will be rolled out into the community, Testing the test is a small matter, and I anticipate that it will be done by the end of this week – Professor Sharon Peacock
Professor Peacock said the tests would allow key workers – like doctors and nurses – to go back to work if they have developed antibodies.
She added that a small number of tests would be assessed for accuracy in a laboratory before being distributed.
People would prick a finger for a small blood sample which would then be analysed by the device to show whether they have antibodies to the virus.
Professor Peacock added: “Once we are assured that they do work, they will be rolled out into the community, 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 whether this meant it would be available in a number of days, rather than weeks or months, she said “absolutely”.
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