The world’s biggest delivery site is said to be drawing up plans for a pilot program “using Amazon logistics” which will deliver throat swabs. The swab will then be picked up in the hour after the sample is taken.
The results will then be delivered via text message, and the whole process could be concluded in less than 48 hours.
The news outlet claims the test is different from efforts to create a home test that identifies antibodies to coronavirus.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care did not confirm this, or Amazon’s press office when contacted.
The news comes day after lockdown restrictions were extended for at least another three weeks.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will hold a meeting with MPs on Friday to discuss the Government’s coronavirus response.
Amazon delivery service could deliver test kits to UK homes
Mr Hancock will be questioned on personal protective equipment (PPE) and the government’s lockdown exit plans in virtual session of the Commons Health Committee.
The body which represents NHS biomedical scientists has said its members are still being prevented from increasing coronavirus testing due to a shortage of kits, not a lack of capacity.
The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) said NHS labs were still struggling to source kits and reagents.
The body suggested it is uncertain whether it can reach Mr Hancock’s end-of-the-month goal of 100,000 daily tests.
It also warned new mega-labs created by the Government may eventually compete with leading NHS labs, causing the testing numbers to fall.
Downing Street said on Thursday the UK now has the facilities to conduct 35,000 coronavirus tests a day – although fewer than half that figure are currently taking place.
Downing Street said on Thursday the UK now has the facilities to conduct 35,000 tests a day
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that in the 24 hours up to 9am on Wednesday, 15,994 people were tested England, Scotland and Wales.
Total testing capacity includes 20,771 in public facilities and a further 14,300 through commercial testing amenities.
“We have been very clear that where there is spare capacity available that should be used on NHS staff, on their families, and in social care,” the spokesman said.
IBMS president Allan Wilson said the problem in NHS labs was not capacity, but a shortage of kits.
“The 17,000 NHS laboratory workers that I represent are increasingly expressing their frustration,” he said in a statement.
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“They have applied themselves innovatively to increase Covid-19 testing capacity and have the platforms ready so that the NHS laboratories are able to meet the Secretary of State’s ambitious target, but they are still not able to source the testing kits and reagents they require.
“It concerns me when I see significant investments being made in mass testing centres that are planning to conduct 75,000 of the 100,000 tests a day.
“These facilities would be a welcome resource and take pressure off the NHS if the issue around testing was one of capacity.
“However, we are clear that it is a global supply shortage holding biomedical scientists back, not a lack of capacity.”
The Prime Minister is currently recovering from Covid-19 with his fiancee, Carrie Symonds
Mr Wilson said there was concern mass testing centres “may only serve to increase competition for what are already scarce supplies”.
He added: “The UK must avoid this for the sake of patient safety.
“It is clear that two testing streams now exist: one delivered by highly qualified and experienced Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered biomedical scientists working in heavily regulated United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) accredited laboratories, the other delivered mainly by volunteer unregistered staff in unaccredited laboratories that have been established within a few weeks.”
He said the IBMS had not been involved in “assuring the quality of the testing centres and are now being kept at arm’s length from their processes, even when they exist close to large NHS laboratories”.