Health Care

Healthcare staff to access Covid-19 antibody tests 'starting next week'

Healthcare staff to access Covid-19 antibody tests 'starting next week'”

Confirming the same, Hancock later said, "We have signed contracts to supply in the coming months over 10 million tests from Roche and Abbott".

The antibody tests will be rolled out from next week in a "phased way", with health and care staff, patients and residents to be eligible first to see if they have had COVID-19 already.

The test will show who has had the virus, although it is not yet clear if after recovering the virus then gives you immunity.

But Britain's progress has been criticised: opposition lawmakers said an earlier promise of a nationwide roll-out of a National Health Service (NHS)-developed smartphone app had slipped from the middle of this month.

The trial is beginning in Hampshire and will be rolled out in a number of settings, including A&E departments without access to laboratories, GP coronavirus testing hubs and care homes.

The new test, produced by United Kingdom company OptiGene, could provide accurate results "almost on the spot", Mr Hancock said.

Up to 4,000 people of different ages and backgrounds will take part in the six-week pilot. The new type, called loop-mediated isothermal amplification, also uses a swab but does not need a change in temperature for results.

More news: Trump says G7 summit could happen in person at Camp David

Boris Johnson has announced that a testing and tracing system will be up and running by 1 June.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday he was confident that a COVID-19 track and trace system would be operating by June 1, allowing lockdown rules to be eased without risking a spike in infections.

The swab test, which will tell people if they now have coronavirus, has proved effective in clinical settings and does not need to be sent to a laboratory to be processed.

Hancock played down the importance of the delayed app in the process.

Newton reiterated this, saying the app was an "additional component" which could be "layered on top of the more personal contact tracing" by officials.

"They are distinct but complementary, and it is perfectly OK, in fact possibly advantageous, to introduce one before the other", he said.

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