James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Amazon could deliver coronavirus home testing kits
17 April 2020, 07:01
Home coronavirus testing kits could be delivered by Amazon under plans drawn as part of a pilot scheme, it has been reported.
The Times newspaper reported on Friday that a pilot program would see Amazon logistics delivering throat swabs that are picked up one hour after a sample has been taken.
Test results would then be sent via text message with the whole process being as quick as 48 hours.
The paper said the test was different from attempts to create a home test that shows antibodies to coronavirus.
Amazon's press office did not confirm the newspaper's report, nor did a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care
The news comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock prepares to face questions from MPs on Friday over the Government's coronavirus response, a day after lockdown measures were extended for at least another three weeks.
Mr Hancock is expected to be quizzed on personal protective equipment (PPE) and an exit strategy as he appears before a virtual session of the Commons Health Committee.
Meanwhile, the body which represents NHS biomedical scientists has said its members are still being held back from ramping up Covid-19 testing by a lack of kits, not a lack of capacity.
The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) said NHS labs were still struggling to source kits and reagents, and cast doubt on the ability to reach Mr Hancock's end-of-the-month target of 100,000 tests a day.
The body also warned new mega-labs set up by the Government may end up competing with established NHS labs.
Downing Street said on Thursday the UK now has the capacity to conduct 35,000 coronavirus tests a day - although fewer than half that number are currently being carried out.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that in the 24 hours up to 9am on Wednesday, 15,994 tests were carried out across England, Scotland and Wales.
Total testing capacity includes 20,771 in public facilities and a further 14,300 through commercial testing facilities.