Public health caution people against buying coronavirus testing kits

Officials from North East Lincolnshire Council have advised local residents against buying so-called coronavirus testing kits.

The antibody testing kits, the likes of which have been advertised in the local area and online, have been the subject of numerous questions to Government officials at the daily Downing Street briefings.

Director of Public Health at North East Lincolnshire Council, Stephen Pintus, said: “The Government and qualified experts from Public Health England have told us that these tests are not yet proven to be reliable.

“This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, if you’re testing yourself to see if you’re fit and able to leave self-isolation, the tests are not guaranteed to give you an accurate answer. You could still carry the virus, or you may never have had it, but with these tests you cannot be certain.

“The second reason of course is that you’re potentially wasting your money. The prices of these kits can vary but the important thing is that none have been accredited for use in the UK, so you’d be better off just following the Government and NHS advice, staying home and waiting until the virus has been beaten.

“Finally, even if these tests do become approved for use, they will not be suitable for home testing and should be carried out by a trained professional in a clinical setting.”

“My advice is quite simple – do not buy these kits. If you’re intent on purchasing a kit and being tested, at least wait until Public Health England has fully tested and approved them.

For the up to date guidance on the symptoms of COVID-19 as well how to avoid catching and spreading the virus, visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

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