Government has ordered immunity kits which are expected to cost £10 and will test whether people have developed immunity for coronavirus, according to reports
New immunity tests ready for June have been ordered by the Government as part of steps to battle against Covid-19, it has been reported.
As part of dramatic steps to fight coronavirus a team of top Brit scientists were been ordered to work on an antibody test.
It aims to reliably test whether people have developed immunity to the virus.
If they succeed, people may be allowed to return to work and socialise as normal, putting an end to social distancing and the lockdown.
News of the “breakthrough” plans come as the UK reached the grim milestone of 20,000 deaths yesterday, up 813 in 24 hours.
The new immunity tests, expected to cost £10, have been devised by scientists at Oxford University who are working for the Government-backed Rapid Testing Consortium, Mail on Sunday reports.
Users of the test provide a pinprick of blood for analysis.
Then, like a pregnancy test, if two lines appear after a 20-minute wait people know that they have the antibodies.
One line means they are either vulnerable to coronavirus infection or the test has failed.
The user would take a picture of the positive result and send it to a central unit which would enter their details into a database.
The team believe they could produce up to one million of the “lateral flow” tests a week by June, adding up to 50 million by next year.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “This is a great story of how our manufacturers are stepping up to the challenge of Covid, and I am hopeful that their product will make an impact in our battle against this terrible disease.”
The Government is expected to buy up the new tests for use in order of priority, starting with key workers.
The consortium’s leader Jonathan Allis said: “We are close to picking up 100% of all cases where people have antibodies. Now it is just a question of scaling up the manufacturing process.”
A Government source said: “This could be the game changer – a breakthrough moment to help us turn the tide on the virus.”
But there is likely to be scepticism about the plan due to ministers’ struggle to reach the current target of 100,000 tests a day for those feared to be carrying the virus.
On Friday, a Government website ran out of home virus tests for key workers in just 15 minutes.