WHO has identified 7 African countries for coronavirus antibody testing to understand the extent of the Covid-19 outbreak on the continent.
Dr John Nkengasong, head of African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, has reportedly announced a continental testing project in countries that have low test rates. Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Zambia, Nigeria, Morocco and Liberia have been selected as pilot groups to undertake the project. The selected countries have agreed and shown commitment to the announcement.
Antibody tests were first approved by the South African government in July this year. According to Medical Brief, these tests are different in that they test blood for antibodies that have formed as an immune response in individuals infected with coronavirus. Medically termed "Serelogy tests", they are useful in picking up evidence that a person had the virus even if they did not show symptoms. "Antibody serology tests, in general, are useful in establishing whether a person has acquired immunity to a virus and is also useful in testing whether or not a vaccine against an infectious disease is working," explained South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).