In a bid to ramp-up its fight against the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the UK has pledged to increase the number of tests it conducts. However, laboratories across Britain might receive the COVID-19 test kits later than expected as the key components which were ordered from other countries were reportedly found contaminated with coronavirus itself. According to British media reports, this revelation comes as questions surround the ministers and public health chiefs over Britain’s capacity to carry out tests in a larger capacity like other countries including United States, South Korea.
The British government has reportedly said that it plans to get at least 25,000 tests for COVID-19 every day by the end of April at the latest and it has even asked private firms to contribute in the test production. As the number of coronavirus infections in the country spike to 25,150 with at least 1,789 fatalities, Luxembourg-based manufacturer reportedly told the UK labs on March 30 that deliveries might be delayed as some parts were found contaminated with COVID-19. However, government sources told a British newspaper that the delivery of test kits should not significantly affect the country’s testing efforts.
While doubts have surrounded the number of tests UK is actually carrying out, in a bid to get back essential workforce in the office, scientists and politicians in the UK have suggested “immunity passports” for those individuals who have had coronavirus. German researchers are currently conducting a large scale study into how many citizens have had the COVID-19 infection and are now immune to the pathogen so that authorities would eventually exclude those workers from the restrictive measures that have currently taken a toll on businesses and economy around the world.
The study by German researchers would involve testing of blood samples from at least 100,000 people with coronavirus infection and is scheduled to start in mid-April. The principle of these studies and the UK’s thought of issuing “immunity passports” lies in the presence of antibodies in an individual. That indicates whether the person is capable to fight the COVID-19 disease and it is apparently also an indicator that the individual had been a carrier of the disease in the past. However, the antibody tests for coronavirus which are strongly sought by most world leaders are currently battling with low productions.