The prime minister later told the House of Commons that this number would be increased to 25,000, going on to state in a press conference that it could eventually rise to 250,000. However, no date has yet been fixed as to when antigen and antibody tests — the former assesses if a person has the virus while the latter should be able to determine if an individual has recovered from infection — may become available for mass distribution. Download now Coronavirus tests are currently being conducted on patients who have exhibited the main symptoms of the condition and have been hospitalised due to ill health . As the actor had been due to work on a busy film set, he had a test as a safeguarding measure so as to ensure he wouldn’t put anyone on production at risk. The government had previously been criticised for not rolling out tests for healthcare workers, as it meant they did not know if they were putting patients’ health at risk. “It is urgently important that we are able to test frontline staff who are off sick or otherwise isolating,” said Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS. However, last week it was reported that only 2,000 NHS frontline staff forced to stay home due to the virus had been tested to see if they could return to work, a fraction of the 125,000 workers believed to be self-isolating. “We expect that to come within a couple of weeks but I wouldn’t want to over promise on that, and I think the chief medical officer has been absolutely clear on it being right before it is put out,” Professor Doyle said. During a recent press briefing, health secretary Matt Hancock said the UK is trying to develop a “huge diagnostic industry” in order to scale up testing. “My German counterpart, for instance, could call upon 100 test labs, ready and waiting when the crisis struck, thanks in large part to Roche, one of the biggest diagnostics companies in the world.
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