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Coronavirus home testing to be available within weeks

Public Health England’s (PHE) Professor Sharon Peacock has revealed that coronavirus home testing kits could be available at chemist shops and via Amazon as soon as next week. They will be made available to vulnerable people and the general public, according to the government, who have bought 3.5 million kits that are in the process of being validated in Oxford to ensure they work as the manufacturers claim.

Peacock verified the tests could “absolutely” be available in the coming days. The government, however, has been more hesitant to make such a statement, emphasisng that they first must ensure the tests are effective.

The test looks like a pregnancy test and works by pricking a finger and analysing the blood with the device. It will take 10-15 minutes to know the result.

The test will measure whether you have had the virus and have built up some immunity. It detects the presence of IGM and IGG antibodies that respond to viral infections.

This scheme is part of a government goal to reach 25,000 tests a day, which will still include nasal swab tests currently being carried out in hospitals. These new tests, however, will allow much more rapid testing which is less intrusive, meaning hospital workers will be able to test if they have been infected after contact time. Those who work with vulnerable people, for example, care workers, will be able to protect their patients with much more regular testing.

Gabriella Emery

Gabriella Emery is one of the Editors-in-Chief at The Oxford Blue. She reads Classics and French at Wadham College and is going into her second year. When not ruining all things light and wonderful like Christmas (or your dignity and pride), her hobbies include: bullying the Managing Director, fangirling the M&S Deli Counter or confusing having a dog with having a personality.