UK planning to distribute free antibody tests after trials return almost 100% accuracy

British ministers are making plans to distribute millions of free coronavirus antibody tests after a version backed by the government passed its first major trials, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported late on Friday.

The fingerprick tests, which can tell within 20 minutes if a person has ever been exposed to the coronavirus, were found to be 98.6 per cent accurate in secret human trials held in June, the newspaper reported.

It added the test was developed by the UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), a partnership between Oxford University and leading UK diagnostics firms.

Britain’s only antibody tests approved thus far have involved blood samples being sent to laboratories for analysis, which can take days, The Telegraph said.