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HEOC, MNU to commence antibody testing in October

Mariyam Malsa
25 September 2020, MVT 18:47
Health professionals working at the Hulhumale' medical facility. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
25 September 2020, MVT 18:47

Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC), on Thursday, revealed that it would commence antibody testing in collaboration with the Maldives National University (MNU) during October.

Antibody testing, or serology testing, determines whether an individual has developed antibodies against COVID-19 after having being infected with the virus in the past.

Speaking at a press conference hosted by HEOC, Public Health Specialist Dr Sheena Moosa stated that preparations were underway and that antibody testing would start within the upcoming two weeks.

Adding that authorities had already finalised the study plan for antibody testing, HEOC Spokesperson Dr Nazla Rafeeq went on to state that a considerable amount of samples must be collected to accurately judge the level of immunity in the community.

ADK Hospital recently completed conducting antibody tests on 3,000 frontline workers, out of which 125 individuals were confirmed to have antibodies.

Maldives currently records a total of 9,939 virus cases of which 1,301 are active cases, in addition to 8,597 recoveries and 34 deaths.

After a long period of recording over 100 daily cases, the numbers fell to two-digits during the most part of September. Within the same period, the number of recoveries saw a significant increase, bringing the number of recovered cases to 86.4 percent.

During last month, authorities tightened the safety measures implemented in the Greater Male' region, following an alarming upsurge of COVID-19 cases after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 32.4 million people and claimed over 988,200 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 23.9 million people have recovered.

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