School-aged children to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies

Antibody tests will first be carried out among school-age children, the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has stated.

A large number of people have contracted COVID-19 and recovered from the illness without being aware of the infection due to lack of symptoms exhibited as a result of the infection. HEOC said the centre has decided to test the population for antibodies in order to estimate the actual number of people who were infected with the virus from among the population. The study plan for the research has been completed and approved, said HEOC.

HEOC’s Spokesperson, Dr. Nazla Rafeeq Monday said the final preparations to commence a large-scale antibody testing are now being made. The tests will first be carried out among school-age children, and will be carried out in collaboration with the Maldives National University, said Dr. Nazla.

“The tests have to be carried out among all age groups of the population. Therefore, we have decided to start with school-age children. Testing will commence within this week,” said Dr. Nazla.

The Maldives has recorded 10,943 positive cases of COVID-19, and 35 deaths to date. While over 170,000 samples have been tested thus far, 9,783 people have recovered from the illness. 1,118 cases are currenly active, which is approximately 80 percent of total infections.