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Thursday 2nd April 2020

Coronavirus: UK home testing kits 'out in days'

They test the blood

Home testing kits for coronavirus are expected to be available in the UK in a matter of days.

Brits with symptoms will have the testing kids they need in just a few days, rather than weeks or months.

That's according to health officials, who revealed this week they had ordered millions of kits and planned to distribute them "within days".

(Credit: Public Health England / YouTube)

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Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, 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.

Kits to test immunity

"Once they have been tested this week and the bulk of tests arrive, they will be distributed into the community."

The coronavirus home testing kits will enable NHS workers who have experienced symptoms to get back to work (Credit: Marcel Kusch/DPA/Cover Images)

Speaking to MPs, she said that if there is a charge for home testing, she believes it will be minimal.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the kits are antibody tests, which don't allow people to see if they have coronavirus - but rather, to see if they have already had it.

Essential for NHS staff

He said they "will allow people to see whether they have had the virus and are immune to it and can go back to work".

This means it will be particularly important for NHS workers who need to know whether or not they are able to return to work and continue treating COVID-19 patients.

They will be distributed into the community.

The home test kits take just 15 minutes to use. Online retail giant Amazon will deliver them to people who are self-isolating with symptoms of the flu-like bug.

It reportedly looks similar to a pregnancy test and involves a finger prick, which produces a drop of blood for the device to analyse.

Matt Mancock has stressed the importance of testing for frontline NHS workers (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Read more: What is hantavirus and are there any cases in the UK?

They will also go on sale on the high street.

It follows calls from the director general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for countries around the world to do as much testing as possible.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier this month that he had a "simple message" for governments: "Test, test, test."

He explained: "We cannot stop this pandemic if we do not know who is infected."

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