25 March 2020 – BBC News
Prof Chris Whitty, the UK Government’s Chief Medical Adviser has said that a test to see whether someone has already had coronavirus is being developed, but will not be available within days, which is contrary to popular belief.
An antibody test would let people find out if they had already had the virus and would allow doctors and nurses with immunity to return to work.
Earlier, Prof Sharon Peacock from Public Health England had told MPs that 3.5 million antibody tests had been bought and were already being evaluated, but Prof Whitty said these tests hadn’t yet been validated.
Prof Whitty said the priority was still to scale up antigen tests – which tell you if someone currently has the illness. These are only available to patients in hospital at the moment, but there are plans to extend them to NHS workers.