KEY POINTS

  • Finger-prick coronavirus home test kits will be sold at Amazon U.K. and Boots
  • Priority will be given to health workers and essential business employees
  • The U.K. government will roll out more test kits for the public

In a matter of days, a coronavirus home test kit will be for sale, which could detect positive COVID-19 cases in 15 minutes. However, these test kits will only be sold at Boots outlets around the United Kingdom and the Amazon U.K. online store.

According to Professor Sharon Peacock of Public Health England (PHE), the coronavirus home test kits are waiting to be cleared by their science and technology committee in Oxford. Once done, these will be distributed to specific sectors of the community in a matter of days.

The U.K. government purchased some 3.5 million kits, and a bulk of this will be distributed to health workers first so that they will know if they can come to work. The PHE will also prioritize selling these kits to supermarket workers and other essential business employees for the same reasons.

covid-19-4908692_1280 Soon, a 15-minute coronavirus home test kit will be distributed to specific sectors in the U.K. Photo: geralt/Pixabay

The government is planning to purchase more of this test kit to roll out for the rest of the community. Downing Street said during the press briefing that there would be a "hierarchy" for the availability of these test kits.

The price has not yet been determined, but Peacock said it would likely be sold for a minimal fee or availed for free for health and essential employees. Boots, however, advised the public not to go to their stores for now since they still do not have kits.

The test is done with a single finger prick to detect if a person has special antibodies. Apparently, a person who has had COVID-19 develops the antibodies that try to fight the infection. Someone who has been exposed to the coronavirus can build an immunity to it and may likely not catch it again.

"If you have antibodies you know you have had the infection. This is not just for health workers, this is for the general population," Peacock said. “Over time we would expect a proportion of the population to test positive and that will allow them to get back to work."

Current COVID-19 tests are done through nasal swabs at hospitals, which only determines if an individual has the virus.