Dr Hilary Jones has warned the government that the coronavirus testing kits could do more damage than good if sold to the public.
The general practitioner appeared on Good Morning Britain where he explained how the new facility works after taking one himself and testing negative for the virus.
Chatting with Kate Garraway, the health expert said how they were just like pregnancy tests, however, this one needs a drop of blood.
Saying how the patient’s blood goes into a small well, followed two drops of buffer solution, he continued: ‘This migrates up the filter to chemicals which creates an immunoassay. It’s looking for particles that come from the virus. The saline there is a control. That is a valid test.
‘IGG antibodies take longer to develop after an acute infection. They probably come in after 14 days and peak at five weeks and can last six months.’
The GMB regular added: ‘IGM antibodies are created within seven days of an acute illness and peak around two to three weeks.
‘What this test shows, and mine was negative, it shows that you have either had the infection already and you have antibodies and are immune or you haven’t been exposed to the virus.’
However, Dr Hilary wasn’t all that convinced that the public would use the kits correctly, adding: ‘If we have this test they have to be really accurate and specific. There’s no point having unreliable tests.
‘People could go back to work without immunity and cause more harm than good.
‘We shouldn’t be selling this to the public. Who is controlling the results and says who can go back to work or not?’
He continued: ‘It should be done officially by health care professionals. I hope these won’t be made available on Amazon and Boots to buy.
‘They need to be used by health care professionals first.’
His advice comes after it was reported that home testing kits would be available from Boots within days.
Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the national infection service at PHE, told MPs on Wednesday that millions of the tests have been ordered and could be used ‘in the near future’.
Asked if the availability of the kits will be a matter of days rather than weeks Professor Peacock replied: ‘Absolutely.’
Good Morning Britain continues weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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