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Opinion : Have you received your Coronavirus home test kit yet?

| April 3, 2020


It seems there is only one means of escape from the country wide Coronavirus ‘lock down’.

Those who have already recovered from Covid-19 and have developed immunity are, apparently, at no danger of spreading the killer virus so could theoretically go out again once the ‘lock down’ restrictions are lifted.

Of course to find out if you have immunity to the virus one needs to be tested. Sadly it seems the powers that be are having difficulty finding a Covid test for use at home that works.

It seems the UK is not the only country having problems, indeed it was recently reported in the national media that Spain recently purchased 58,000 Chinese made Covid test kits that had to be scrapped as they only had an accurate detection rate of just 30%.

Of course testing everyone is not the complete answer as it would only identify those who are immune to the virus and those who are not and still at risk.

Eventually Covid will catch up on those who haven’t had it, indeed nobody can escape the Covid virus unless they retire from everyday life completely, lock themselves in their houses and depend on supermarket home deliveries.

At least if there was testing those who are immune could get on with their lives and go out but surely this would result in a two tier society?

My good self fears a social divide will open up with the Covids (Covid+) who have immunity and can go out into the world and the Non-Covids (Covid-) who are still living in fear from the isolation of their houses. The world could end up being like something from the plot of a science fiction movie of the 1950’s.

Once the home test kits are available my good self can see there being a rush to obtain one. Will the kits be distributed in an orderly fashion or will we see a rush to get hold of one similar to the recent panic buying of toilet rolls and food?

In my view those who work in the health care sector (hospitals, care homes, care workers, etc….), key workers and other essential professionals together with their families should be given the tests first.

At the moment the sale of coronavirus testing kits to people who are not medical professionals is prohibited as the tests have not been approved for use at home by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Surely it’s a matter of urgency to get the test kits approved for home use? But if people do use them at home what guarantees are there the people will not misrepresent the results?

In my opinion, while the home tests are useful, there should still be official tests done formally by healthcare professionals with the results officially recorded in order to get an official Covid+ certificate so one can go out into the world again.

A Covid+ result on a home test should be the gateway to an appointment with the nurse at your GP surgery to get an official test done so the time of the nurses doing the official tests is not wasted unduly.

Your humble servant can see the issuing of the home tests may turn out to be very interesting as everyone will be clamouring to get one. Myself included….

What do you think?

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