United Kingdom government to sell coronavirus testing kits on Amazon "within days"

Clay Curtis
March 25, 2020

She said: "Several million tests have been purchased for use".

Figures on Tuesday from the Department of Health and Social Care said Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS are expecting to be carrying out up to 25,000 tests per day within the next four weeks.

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 United Kingdom would be possible by next week, according to the Guardian.

Asked whether this meant it would be available in a number of days, rather than weeks or months, she said "absolutely".

The tests are created to establish whether people have previously been infected with coronavirus, as opposed to antigen tests which show if someone has the virus as they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The UK will have test kits available within days to be sent to households to establish whether people have contracted the new coronavirus and developed immunity, a health official said on Wednesday.

The Government is coming under intense pressure to increase testing, particularly for frontline NHS staff so those who are negative can get back to work. Evidence shows that you cannot catch the coronavirus twice in quick succession, and Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated in his press conferences that such a test would allow those who have been infected and fought off the illness could return to work, providing a massive boost for the economy.

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Professor Peacock said antibody tests are also being ordered across Europe and in South East Asia.

"We can not stop this pandemic if we do not know who is infected", said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO. These are brand new products.

"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.

Right now, somewhere between 5,000 to 6,000 people are being tested on a daily basis, but the United Kingdom government plans to increase this to 25,000 tests a day within four weeks - once the testing of them has been concluded in the next few days.

The antibody tests analyse blood extracted with a finger prick and produce results in 10-15 minutes.

The tests "can see if you have antibodies, in which case you know you had the infection", she added.

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