One in four Britons could be tested for coronavirus to try to shorten the lock.
In a sign that ministers have finally accepted the urgency of the mass tests, officials have reached deals to buy 17.5 million kits for use by mid-April.
They hope to identify hot spots of contagion as well as people who are immune.
Britain currently only conducts “antigenic” tests – a swab that requires laboratory analysis. A test drive is pictured above in the parking lot of Chessington World of Adventures, London
The medical equipment is photographed outside the Excel center in London, which has been transformed into an NHS Nightingale hospital. One in four Britons could be tested for coronavirus to try to shorten the lock
Germany issues coronavirus “immunity certificates” to people who have recovered
“Immunity certificates” should be introduced in Germany as part of preparations for the country to end its foreclosure.
The researchers want to bring the documents to citizens who are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus.
This comes as Chancellor Angela Merkel managed the Covid-19 pandemic and obtained an increase in survey rates.
As part of Germany’s fight against the virus, scientists are using antibodies in test participants to find out which of them were sick and cured, reports Der Spiegel.
The team plans to test 100,000 people at a time, delivering documents to those who have accumulated immunity.
They will then use the information gleaned from the tests to assess how and when the lockout should end.
The researchers will use the data to inform the government of the school reopening date and the authorization of the mass rallies.
The tests would help get NHS staff back to work and help track down front-line workers, such as teachers and police.
The program may see movement restrictions lifted earlier than the six months suggested by government science advisers yesterday.
“The top priority is randomized testing to determine how far the disease has spread,” said a source from Whitehall.
“It is essential to understand what we are dealing with and to shape our response.”
Officials have identified suppliers who can perform the tests and have “in principle” agreed to buy $ 17.5 million if they pass the medical checks.
Britain currently only conducts “antigenic” tests – a swab that requires laboratory analysis.
However, the new “antibody” fingerprint tests take 15 minutes to detect if someone has had the virus.
Jeremy Hunt, former secretary of health, believes that tests are essential to relax measures of social distancing.
Writing in today’s Daily Mail, he asks, “Is it too far-fetched to aim to be the first country to test every member of the population at home? In these extraordinary times, with our great British will, anything is possible.
In a sign that ministers have finally accepted the urgency of the mass tests, officials have reached deals to buy 17.5 million kits for use by mid-April. They hope to identify hot spots of contagion as well as people who are immune. An NHS employee is pictured above being tested for the virus in the parking lot of Chessington World of Adventures in London
“Mass social distancing will help smooth the curve, but only the tests will save us from months, even years, of anxiety and economic paralysis.”
While the death toll in the UK has increased by 209 to 1,288:
- Consultant Amged El-Hawrani became the first front-line NHS worker to die from the virus;
- Jenny Harries, assistant chief medical officer of health, said it would likely be three to six months before the lock was lifted;
- Boris Johnson continued to chair the isolation meetings at Downing Street;
- Train trips decreased by 85% and bus trips decreased by three-quarters;
- Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has prepared to unveil an agreement with commercial airlines to repatriate tens of thousands of stranded British citizens;
- The rules were relaxed for two years to allow women to self-administer abortion pills at home rather than going to a clinic;
- Michael Gove struck China, claiming that his inability to speak openly about the virus had hampered the response of the world;
- The number of volunteers to help the NHS has exceeded the target of 750,000;
- Labor MP Stephen Kinnock was criticized by police for visiting his 78-year-old father Neil.
Iceland has already run a population-wide testing program, and Norway announced one yesterday.
Scientists are concerned that lifting restrictions too soon – before the virus recedes – could lead to a second spike in death.
Paul Hunter, professor of epidemiology at the University of East Anglia, said, “If you let go of social distancing based on a leveling of cases, you might see a resurgence. So we have to be careful about it because we just don’t know enough about what’s going on.
“But if we know, through mass antibody testing, that a large part of the population is immune, you could lift social distancing much sooner.”
The ministers decided earlier this month to reserve all of Britain’s testing capacity for hospital patients.
But the move left officials “blindfolded” in their response to the crisis, the World Health Organization warned. He called on all countries to “test, test, test”.
The government has come under fire for failing to prioritize testing, with daily figures not yet reaching 10,000. In Germany, by comparison, authorities test more than 70,000 people a day.
Even front-line NHS staff have not been tested until this weekend, which means that 20% of people were isolated last week.
South Korea – initially one of the most affected countries – has managed to quickly control its epidemic by aggressively testing the disease.
Germany announced yesterday its plans for a testing program that will allow it to issue 100,000 “immunity passports” per month.
Professor Eleanor Riley, a specialist in infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The mass tests for antibodies will give us a much better idea of the extent of the spread of the virus in the population.”
The government has been strongly criticized for not giving priority to tests, the daily figures have not yet reached 10,000. In Germany, by comparison, the authorities test more than 70,000 people per day