United Kingdom track and trace system in place from June

Grant Boone
May 22, 2020

Britain has agreed a deal to acquire antibody tests, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday, saying the tests would be free and health and care workers would be prioritised.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that 17 percent of Londoners have had COVID-19. The companies said they were in talks with Britain about the system.

"This is an important milestone and it represents further progress in our national testing program" Hancock said.

The mad dash to develop and obtain coronavirus antibody tests, also known as serology tests, came after officials said it would be key in determining who could safely return to work, and when they could begin reopening economies. However, scientists still aren't sure whether having antibodies means long-lasting protection from the disease. The tests, produced by Roche and Abbott, will be produced over the next several months, Reuters reported. Roche expects production to reach the high double-digit millions by June and pass the 100 million monthly threshold later this year.

He also said trials had begun of a separate COVID-19 swab test by the United Kingdom company Optigene, showing if users now have the virus in less than 20 minutes.

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Sorrento is better known as a gene-editing stock, with the company working on its own potential treatments in that area. According to him, anti-STI-1499 "envelop virus" and makes it impossible to "cling to the cells in the human body".

No home "pregnancy-test" kits have yet been approved, despite promises in March that one would be available. Tests will be offered to patients and health workers with symptoms of the virus and to all residents and care workers in selected care homes. Johnson previously described antibody tests as a "game-changer" in the response to the virus.

When asked about a trial in Britain and purchases of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, he said that all drugs were tested carefully. It can show whether a patient has the virus within 20 minutes.

"This is an extraordinary experiment that the government's put in place, and none of us know how it's going to work", she told BBC Radio 5. He said these would be rolled out as fast as possible if successful.

Healthcare professionals in England will get access to antibody tests, starting next week, the health secretary has announced.

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source. As many as 4,000 people will be tested in the county of Hampshire in southern England.

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