PROFESSOR John Newton, national coordinator of the UK coronavirus testing programme, has warned against the purchase of unapproved antibody testing kits and has released a statement.
Antibody tests – designed to detect if people have had the virus and are now immune – are a key part of the government’s strategy to boost testing capacity for COVID-19 to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives.
Several reports have emerged of organisations seeking to purchase antibody tests for their employees, or of individuals purchasing these tests online for personal use.
Professor John Newton has warned that unapproved tests could be misleading, by providing inaccurate or inconsistent results, potentially putting those tested and those around them at risk.
The government is currently working with several companies who are offering these tests and are evaluating their effectiveness. However, so far, the antibody tests that have gone through the validation process have not proven accurate enough to be rolled out for public use, which is why the government is backing industry efforts to develop a homegrown test.
Until then the government continues to urge everyone to follow the social distancing advice by staying home to protect the NHS and save lives.