Roche Diagnostics have created the kit, and have said they can provide hundreds of thousands to the NHS every week.
The lab based “Elecsys” test has reportedly achieved 100 percent accuracy when trialling on COVID-19 patients.
The new test also has a ‘specificity‘ of 99.8 per cent, meaning it generates very few “false positives”.
The test is important because it gives the clearest possible picture of how widespread the coronavirus is in the UK.
The government has been under fire over testing kits being inaccurate and undersupplied.
ANTIBODY TESTS for coronavirus that are “100 percent accurate” will be available to millions in just (Image: GETTY)
Roche Diagnostics have created the kit, and have said they can provide hundreds of thousands to the NHS every week. (Image: PA)
The blood sample kit, which can be processed by machines used in NHS labs across the country, has been granted the ‘CE mark‘ that shows it is safe, and is undergoing final ratification at Public Health England‘s Porton Down facility.
Roche Diagnostics said it is “in dialogue” with the NHS and the UK Government about a “phased roll-out of the test from mid-May”.
Previous tests assessed by the Government struggled to differentiate COVID-19 from four other types of human coronaviruses which cause the common cold.
It has also been given “emergency use authorisation” by the US Food and Drug Administration, with millions of kits to be sent to America.
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The blood sample kit, which can be processed by machines used in NHS labs across the country, has been granted the ‘CE mark‘ that shows it is safe, and is undergoing final ratification at Public Health England‘s Porton Down facility. (Image: PA)
A spokesman added: “We will be able to provide hundreds of thousands of antibody tests to the UK per week.
“Hospitals and reference laboratories can run the test on fully-automated equipment already widely installed by Roche Diagnostics at sites across the UK with results provided in 18 minutes.”
Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche Group, also said the firm could produce tens of millions of tests in May to send worldwide.
He said: “I am in particular pleased about the high specificity and sensitivity of our test, which is crucial to support health care systems around the world with a reliable tool to better manage the COVID-19 health crisis.”
The UK‘s coronavirus cases as of Sunday 3 May (Image: Express)
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his plans to set put the UK’s exit plan from the COVID-19 lockdown.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, spoke to Sky News‘ Sophy Ridge about how the government will likely mitigate a potential second wave of infections.
He said: “Obviously, it‘s very important to avoid those morning peaks and the crushes would be completely at odds with social distancing.
“Of course, I‘m concerned about people being able to wash their hands, which is still by far and away the most important advice above anything else.
“We can help with that by trying to have hand sanitiser, one-way systems, spacing on platforms and bus stops clearly marked out.”
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his plans to set put the UK’s exit plan from the COVID-19 lockdown. (Image: PA)
In other news, the northwest of England passed London as the epicentre of the UK‘s coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, with more people in the region in hospital with the illness than in the capital.
Data shared at Sunday‘s government briefing revealed coronavirus patients in London had dipped to 2,033 while patients with the illness in the northwest of England rose to 2,191.
It is the first time a region‘s total has surpassed the capital since the height of the outbreak – though both totals are significantly lower than their respective peaks.
To date, the UK has seen a total of 186,599 cases and 28,446 deaths throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.