A 100% accurate antibody test will be introduced to UK society public health leaders have confirmed.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously welcomed antibody testing as it should show how many people actually have had COVID-19.
In March, Boris Johnson said: “The great thing about having a test to see whether you’ve had it enough, 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.
“So for an economic point of view, from a social point of view, it really could be a game-changer.”
If a patient has had the coronavirus the test is designed to help determine this and whether they have developed antibodies against it which will help to show if an individual has gained immunity against it.
Public Health England
said scientific experts at its Porton Down facility had carried out an independent evaluation of the new blood test developed by a Swiss pharmaceutical company.
Professor John Newton, national co-ordinator of the UK Coronavirus Testing Programme, said: “This is a very positive development because such a highly specific antibody test is a very reliable marker of past infection.
“This in turn may indicate some immunity to future infection although the extent to which the presence of antibodies indicates immunity remains unclear.”
Britain’s junior health minister Edward Argar said: “This has the potential to be a game changer.
“We are now moving as fast as we can to discuss with Roche purchasing of those but I can’t give you an exact date when we’ll be able to start rolling them out.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week said the UK was in talks with Roche about a “very large-scale roll-out” of coronavirus antibody testing.
However Hancock has stated that there had been problems with antibody testing, with the UK would ordering 17.5 million home testing kits only to find they did not work.
“There has been false hope before in antibody testing and so we’ll make announcements when we’re absolutely ready,” he said.