Dr Hilary explains how the 'game-changing' finger-prick coronavirus test works

26 March 2020, 11:23

Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

A new coronavirus test is currently being developed, and this is how it works.

Dr Hilary appeared on Good Morning Britain on Thursday this week, where he showed Lorraine Kelly and Ben Shephard how the new finger-prick coronavirus test works.

The test is currently still being developed, and is said to be going through quality control testing in Oxford this week.

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While the test is not available to the public yet, Dr Hilary good hold of one in order to show viewers how it works.

Dr Hilary described the coronavirus test as a "game-changer"
Dr Hilary described the coronavirus test as a "game-changer". Picture: ITV

He explained that this test, which the UK Government had ordered 3.5 million of, determine whether you have had the virus and are now immune.

"It works by putting a drop of blood in a well, and a couple of drops of buffer solution", he said.

The doctor continued: "And then the liquid is drawn up through the filter to the reagents which is called amino assay, so it's basically measuring the chemicals within the virus itself."

Dr Hilary said the coronavirus test will tell people if they have had the virus and are now immune
Dr Hilary said the coronavirus test will tell people if they have had the virus and are now immune. Picture: ITV

In short, it will tell people if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or not.

Dr Hilary said that the test will be "really useful" for people who need to know if they can go back to work safely, calling the test a "game-changer".

He went on to explain to Lorraine and Ben: "There are two types of antibody that we make when we're exposed to this virus.

The Government have reportedly ordered 3.5 million of the coronavirus tests
The Government have reportedly ordered 3.5 million of the coronavirus tests. Picture: ITV

"One is called IGG, one is called IGM. IGM raises quite quickly, within seven days of the illness and lasts for two to three weeks.

"IGG lasts longer, it raises about 14 days after exposure to the virus, and after symptoms, and lasts for up to around six months."

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