One million DIY Covid antibody tests have been bought up by the Government.
The finger-prick blood tests can be done at home – and give a result in just 20 minutes.
They work by looking for Covid antibodies, which are proteins in the blood produced by the body in response to the infection, and could show whether someone has already had the killer bug.
It’s thought that around three million people in England and Wales have had coronavirus – but the true scale is unknown.
Officials hope that the roll-out of the kits will help in their effort track the spread of Covid-19, especially in those who experienced no symptoms.
Health minister Lord Bethell said the tests, which have been purchased from the UK-Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), are the first of their kind to have been approved and bought by the Department of Health.
The UK-RTC, which developed the test, includes Oxford University, Abingdon Health, BBI Solutions and CIGA Healthcare.
Lord Bethell said: “Home testing is a powerful tool in understanding the disease and fighting its spread.
“So we are thrilled by the RTC product, both for Britain and export markets around the world.”
Chris Yates, CEO of Abingdon Health, who led the UK-RTC said: “The UK Government order of the first one million tests is an endorsement of this UK-designed, developed and manufactured high-quality rapid diagnostic test.
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