Antibody test for coronavirus: Will antibody test work? When will tests be available?

The Prime Minister has announced on Thursday, March 19 that the UK will be buying antibody tests in order to identify who has already had coronavirus.

He said: “We are in negotiations today to buy a so-called antibody test, as simple as a pregnancy test, that can tell whether you have had the disease.

“It is early days but if it works as its proponents claim, then we will buy literally hundreds of thousands of these kits as soon as practicable because obviously it has the potential to be a total game-changer.”

Mr Johnson told reporters that the test works in the same way as a pregnancy test, but will use blood instead of urine.

If the test finds you have already been infected and are now resistant to the virus, you are able to return to your normal life and go back to work as normal. 

He said: “The great thing about having a test to see whether you’ve had it, is suddenly a green light goes on above your head and you can go back to work, safe and confident in the knowledge that you are most unlikely to get it again.”

He went on to say the UK “can beat coronavirus in the next 12 weeks”.

The Prime Minister thanked British citizens for their “huge efforts” so far in battling the disease.

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The test is not available to buy yet, but Mr Johnson told the audience at the Downing Street press conference that the developmeny of the test was not far away.

The Prime Minister said it is “early days”, but it has been  made clear that it is Public Health’s priority to get these tests distributed.

The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said Public Health England’s work on the antibody test is “progressing very fast”.

Robert Jenrick- Housing and communities secretary- told the BBC on Sunday that millions of the tests will be arriving in a matter of weeks.

“It will be a very simple one to use and it will be similar to taking a pregnancy test,” he said.

“We are ordering millions of these tests.”

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