TESTING giant Switzerland-based Roche Diagnostics claims it has created a 99.8 per cent accurate antibody test for mass use.
And the firm has assured it has enough stock to provide hundreds of thousands to the NHS each week.
The news will be welcomed after weeks of disappointment regarding the roll-our of mass tests designed to tell if someone has had the virus in the past and whether or not they have an immunity.
The government has insisted it can’t find a DIY finger-prick kit that is accurate enough.
Roche says its lab-based ‘Elecsys’ test can detect 100 per cent of people who have not had the coronavirus and 99.8 per cent of people who have been infected, and it has been granted the safe ‘CE mark’.
Results can be given in just 18 minutes.
The cost of the test is unknown but it is likely to be used in the government’s massive ‘surveillance’ programme, which will see thousands of households given the kits to work out how many Britons have truly been infected.
The controversial decision to abandon a widespread testing regime before the crisis began to take hold means officials don’t know the true scale of the UK’s outbreak.