Britain buys 1 million COVID-19 antibody tests

FILE PHOTO: A sign is pictured as people queue outside a test centre, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Southend-on-sea, Britain September 17, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s health ministry said on Tuesday it had bought 1 million COVID-19 antibody tests that can indicate whether someone has had the disease within 20 minutes.

The Department of Health said it had bought the tests, which use a fingerprick device and do not need to be sent to a lab, from the UK Rapid Test Consortium, and that they would be rolled out as part of the government’s COVID-19 surveillance studies.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Costas Pitas, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison