On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning that the much anticipated coronavirus antibody tests are likely to be unworkable as far as proving immunity is concerned. This warning has squashed hopes across the world that the tests will help the global community create a safer environment and put an end to the quarantine.
The WHO released a statement, saying that the much anticipated “serological” tests can only determine if antibodies are present within the bloodstream of an individual. The global health body said that the presence of antibodies within the bloodstream only indicates whether an individual has contracted COVID-19, with or without the symptoms.
The scientific community is still struggling to understand whether having survived COVID-19 conveys a universal immunity to getting infected by the deadly virus again.
Dr. Maria Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging disease unit, observed that these antibody tests will be able to demonstrate the level of serology presence, however, it does not indicate that someone with antibodies is immune to the disease.
Dr. Mike Ryan, the executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program said that the scientific community is still unsure whether individuals with antibodies are fully protected against the symptoms of the virus or being exposed to the virus again. Moreover, Ryan added that many of these tests struggling with sensitivity issues and are likely to give a “false negative result.”