'17% Londoners, 5% of UK residents have COVID-19 antibodies'

Britain signs deals for 10 million antibody tests from Roche and Abbott

While some people will be keen to test whether they have COVID-19 antibodies, some experts have previous warned the public over using them.

Part of that process has included sample antibody testing in different regions of the United Kingdom to produce an estimate of the number of people who have contracted the virus.

The minister added that a study in London found 17% of participants tested positive for antibodies, indicating they had previously contracted the virus, and at least 5% had tested positive in another national study.

Britain said on Thursday it had agreed to acquire over 10 million coronavirus antibody tests from Roche and Abbott which would be rolled out to health and care workers from next week.

This is different to the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests which need to be processed at different temperatures meaning it takes longer to get results.

US regulators are moving ahead with a crackdown on scores of antibody tests for the coronavirus that have not yet been shown to work.

He said they would begin rolling out the tests in phases beginning next week, starting with health workers, and then patients. Spectrum Health can conduct up to 1,000 antibody tests per day with results typically available within 24 hours.

However, having antibodies does not automatically mean a person will not pass the virus onto somebody else.


Commenting on the availability of the test from Superdrug, as well as one released by healthcare company Babylon for the same price, Professor Gino Martini, chief scientific officer at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: "Any antibody test at present can only provide a partial picture".

That we are able to do so is a testament to the hard work and ingenuity of our entire microbiology department, from clinical scientists and the laboratory team to volunteers from academia and industry as well as the staff on the wards.

Hancock said yesterday: "This new test could provide accurate results nearly on the spot".

They will learn more about who is most at risk from coronavirus, who is more likely to die and who is more likely to transmit it to others.

For those in need of non-respiratory medical attention, Mercy Urgent Care is still seeing patients for other illness, injury and work-related testing or exams.

If the technique is deemed to be both successful and effective, it will be rolled out nationally within six weeks.

The Roche tests received approval from the European Union last month, while the US Food and Drug Administration gave them an emergency use authorisation on 2 May.

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