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UK OKs Antibody Test

Public Health England has approved a coronavirus antibody test, the Telegraph reports. It further adds that officials are in negotiations to purchase millions of the testing kits.

According to the Telegraph, the Roche-developed test, which received a CE mark in late April, has a high accuracy and that British officials have viewed having an accurate antibody test as a key step to begin to reopen the UK.

"This is a very positive development because such a highly specific antibody test is a very reliable marker of past infection," John Newton, the coordinator of the UK Coronavirus Testing Program, tells the Telegraph. "This in turn may indicate some immunity to future infection, although the extent to which the presence of antibodies indicates immunity remains unclear."

Newsweek adds that the Department of Health and Social Care is working on making the tests available to the public. "Antibody testing is an important part of our strategy to counter the spread of COVID-19 and to help us understand who has had the disease," a spokesperson tells it.

The Telegraph notes government officials were criticized after promising earlier in the crisis that home finger-prick tests would be available, only to have to cancel the order when the tests failed to meet standards.