A Barnard Castle-based laboratory has offered Dominic Cummings a coronavirus antibody test – and the Downing Street adviser doesn’t even need to make a return trip.
Honeyman Group today said it was willing to send Cummings a coronavirus antibody test, which it says takes 24 hours to check a blood sample for signs of Covid-19 antibodies.
Cummings, Boris Johnson’s right-hand man, was revealed to have made a 200-mile round trip to County Durham during lockdown.
The journey sparked a furore but the Prime Minister refused to sack his chief adviser. Cummings has said the trip was necessary to seek childcare arrangements after his wife fell ill from the virus, shortly before he did.
While in Durham, Cummings again appeared to breach lockdown restrictions to visit Barnard Castle – a 25-mile trip he said was necessary in order to test his eyesight – before driving back to London in April.
“We will happily extend the offer of a test to Dominic Cummings,” Honeyman MD Tom Honeyman said.
“The process is that an employer’s occupational health team or one of our clinical partners organises for a blood sample to be taken and sent to our laboratory in Barnard Castle for serology. We return results within 24 hours.”
Honeyman has partnered with Scottish science firm Quotient to create the antibody test, based on Quotient’s MosaiQ platform.
The test is designed to check for two types of coronavirus antibodies as early as seven days after infection, Honeyman said.
The company cited research showing not everyone develops an antibody known as IgG, which is what existing approved tests check for. Honeyman’s coronavirus test also looks for an IgM antibody reaction with Quotient’s MosaiQ technology.
“Coupled with our PCR testing service, this systematic approach is proving popular with businesses responsible for managing large workforces,” MD Tom Honeyman said.
Honeyman said its rapid testing method makes it the only lab in the UK and Ireland to turn samples around in under 24 hours from collection.
“Antibody testing – the ability to quickly test if people have developed antibodies to Covid-19 – is critical in helping the UK move out of lockdown, restarting the economy and continuing to fight this pandemic,” added Quotient chief executive Franz Walt.