The new kits come six months after the DIY kits were first promised by Government officials. The kits had been described as a “game-changer” in March. The testing kits can be used at home to test how far the virus is spreading throughout the nation.
The DIY kits will be crucial for helping scientists and politicians understand how far the virus has spread through British society.
The kit uses a pin-prick blood sample that can collect data on the numbers of people who have coronavirus.
Currently, most coronavirus tests require a swab taken from the back of the nasal cavity or the throat.
This test is for the presence of the virus’s RNA in a person’s saliva or mucus.
A positive result means that person is currently infected with the virus.
The new DIY test kits use blood samples to test for antibodies.
If coronavirus antibodies in the bloodstream are detected then the person has had the virus.
Antibodies are produced by the immune system and act as a memory to store how the body should fight a particular virus.
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The kits which were approved by the Department of Health were made by the UK Rapid Test Consortium.
Evaluations of the kits suggest they are 97 percent accurate at detecting positive cases and 100 percent accurate at detecting a negative.
Health minister Lord Bethell today announced the DIY test kits had been purchased.
Lord Bethell said: “Home testing is a powerful tool in understanding the disease and fighting its spread.
“So we are thrilled by the RTC product, both for Britain and export markets around the world.”