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

Capillary blood is drawn from a fingertip during a demonstration at Sure Screen Diagnostics based in Derby of a test they have manufactured which claims to be 98% accurate in determining if a person is infected with coronavirus costs £6 and can be used

Coronavirus home test kits said to take just 15 minutes to complete will be soon be available to buy in the United Kingdom within a few days, according to a director of Public Health England (PHE).

Following warnings that the outbreak is likely to peak around Easter, senior officials laid out plans to ramp up testing of NHS staff, patients and the wider British public.

Prof Peacock explained a small number of tests would be tested in a laboratory before being distributed via Amazon and in places like Boots.

The test itself involves pricking the finger to produce a drop of blood, which is then analysed by the device.

Ministers have pledged to increase testing to 25,000 people a day by the end of next month, and ultimately to reach 250,000 tests a day. These are brand new products.

The test will confirm if the person using the test now has COVID-19 or has had it previously.

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

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Prof Peacock said that, in future, the finger-prick tests could be distributed by Amazon, or pharmacists like Boots.

Health chiefs said the immediate priority was to boost capacity so that NHS staff now reporting symptoms could be tested.

The antibody test will detect the presence of the antibodies IGM, which emerge in the early stages of infection, and IGG, which increase during the body's response to the virus.

Professor Stephen Powis told LBC, the phone-in and talk radio station, that testing is being expanded and there would be more widespread testing of NHS workers in the next few days.

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.

She told the Science and Technology Committee in the House of Commons the tests would be as simple as a pregnancy test. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism. The results of some of the tests on order can be read by anyone, but others would need to be interpreted by healthcare professionals.

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.

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