• Monday, April 22, 2024

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UK to offer Covid-19 antibody tests to Britons soon as expert claims Covid may ‘come roaring back’

Holiday-makers in the streets on August 19, 2021 in Newquay, Cornwall, England. At a time when summer holiday-makers flood into the town to visit the beaches and shops Newquay East has the highest rate of Covid at 1123.8 per 100,000 people with Newquay West in third position with 972.6. (Photo by Hugh Hastings/Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

BRITAIN is set to offer Covid-19 antibody testing to the general public in the coming week for the first time, state media reports today (22)  as a top expert has claimed that Covid anytime may “come roaring back” as long as it is not wiped completely from every part of the world. 

 

As per reports, the government’s new programme is intended to produce data on antibody protections for people following infections by different coronavirus variants.

 From Tuesday (24), anyone aged 18 or over in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, will be able to opt into the programme when receiving a PCR test, said reports.

Participants, on testing positive for Covid-19, will be sent two finger-prick tests to complete at home to inform the UK Health Security Agency of the antibody response to different coronavirus variants, reports said, adding that up to 8,000 people will be enrolled in the programme, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which is running it.

UKHSA, working alongside NHS Test and Trace, will use the results to monitor antibody levels in positive cases.

The first of these tests should be taken as soon as possible after the patient receives their positive result, and the second should be taken 28 days later.

As of Saturday (21), Public Health England (PHE) said there were 32,058 confirmed coronavirus cases and 104 people had died within 28 days of testing positive.

Meanwhile, a top expert has warned that the UK must not take its “eye off the ball” with covid-19 vaccinations, saying the virus might come “roaring back.”

“We all agree that (the pandemic) is not over until it is over in every corner of the world because otherwise, it will just come roaring back,” Dr Chris Smith, consultant virologist and lecturer at Cambridge University, said on BBC Breakfast.

“But one must not take one’s eye off the ball here because it would be very easy to unstitch all of the good work we’ve done so far if it turns out with the time we do lose immunity because the vaccines wane in their effectiveness.”

He also said that a decision on booster jabs should not be “rash or rushed,” and that the government is considering a more “strategic” approach.

The UK’s vaccination programme has so far seen around three-quarters of adults fully vaccinated with two doses.

 

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