New antibody tests a crucial step forward in UK lockdown exit

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Public Health England has officially approved an accurate antibody test; calling it a “very positive development” in the UK’s fight against COVID-19.

The new test identifies antibodies in the blood to see if someone has already contracted coronavirus and whether they have built up any immunity.

Similar tests had previously proven ineffective, with millions spent on kits that did not reach the required standards.

However, this latest batch from Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche could prove to be “a very reliable marker of past infection” according to experts.

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Antibody tests remain a key component in the UK’s lockdown exit criteria – offering essential knowledge and awareness surrounding rates of past, current and potential infection.

The government is now looking at distributing the antibody tests to frontline workers before pushing them nationwide.

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.”

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