Statement from Health Canada on COVID-19 Serological Tests

Statement from Health Canada on COVID-19 Serological Tests

Statement from Health Canada on COVID-19 Serological Tests

"This in turn may indicate some immunity to future infection although the extent to which the presence of anti-bodies indicates immunity remains unclear".

The task force will also look to figure out how many people here have been infected beyond those who were tested.

"Last week, scientific experts at PHE Porton Down carried out an independent evaluation of the new Roche Sars-CoV-2 serology assay in record time, concluding that it is a highly specific assay with specificity of 100%".

Health Canada says further research will also help understand the relationship between positive antibody tests and protection against reinfection.

The Telegraph, which first reported the findings, stated that the government is in negotiations with Roche to buy millions of kits. Heather Yourex-West looks at how the test works, and the questions it can not answer.

"Or when they have someone who has tested positive, they know to use that. if they are accepting a discharge back to the care home, they know to put in place those isolation rules and those isolation procedures".

The new test can identify people who have had coronavirus even if they have never had any indication they are infected.

The second use - helping to lift lockdown - is highly controversial. "These tests will help us better understand immunity against the virus and how it spreads, so we can keep Canadians safe and healthy".

But having antibodies does not automatically mean you can not get sick or harbour the virus and pass it on to others.

The idea of "immunity passports" that would allow individuals with antibodies in their system to move around more freely has been proposed, but the World Health Organization shot down the idea, saying there isn't enough evidence that such an approach would work.

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, described the test as a "major step forward".

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "It has only just got the green light". "So we're not there yet".

"We are delighted that devices are progressing through validation, and are actively working on our plans for rolling out antibody testing and will make announcements in due course", NewsChain quoted Roche's spokesperson.

Edward Argar, the health minister, said on Thursday no tests had been purchased by the United Kingdom as the government was still in discussions with Roche about acquiring them.

But he acknowledged there had been "false hope before" and that he would only make an announcement when the government was "absolutely ready".

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