‘No evidence’ coronavirus patients who recover will not get reinfected, warns WHO

11:34 PM | 25 Apr, 2020
‘No evidence’ coronavirus patients who recover will not get reinfected, warns WHO
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GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that there is no evidence that people who test positive for coronavirus are immunised and protected against reinfection.

“Some governments have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could serve as the basis for an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection. There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” the WHO said in a statement Saturday.

"As of 24 April 2020, no study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans," it added.

Some governments, wanting a gradual return to work and the resumption of economic activity, have put forward the idea of issuing documents attesting to the immunity of people on the basis of serological tests revealing the presence of antibodies in the blood.

But the effectiveness of an immunisation thanks to antibodies has still not been established and the available scientific data do not justify the granting of an "immune passport" or a "certificate of absence of risk", warns the WHO.

At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an "immunity passport" or "risk-free certificate."

"People who assume that they are immune to a second infection because they have received a positive test result may ignore public health advice," the WHO said.

"The use of such certificates may therefore increase the risks of continued transmission."

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The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is affecting 210 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyance.

More than 201,500 people have died and nearly 2.9 million infected by the disease as it wreaks havoc across the world. At least 815,877 people have also recovered from the mysterious illness.