LONDON | The british government announced on Thursday the launch of a large study on the spread of the novel coronavirus and the development of antibodies in the population, which may involve up to 300,000 people in the next 12 months.
Conducted jointly with the university of Oxford and the Office for national statistics (ONS), “this study will help to improve the understanding of the current rate of infection and the number of people who are likely to have developed antibodies against the virus,” said the ministry of Health in a press release.
The first results will be known at the beginning of the month of may.
In a first phase, 25,000 people constituting a representative sample of the population will provide the levies made in the throat and the nose to determine if they were infected by the virus. They will conduct a test weekly during the first five weeks, and then every month during one year.
The goal is to expand the study to about 300, 000 people in the year, according to the release.
In addition, adults of one thousand households will also to blood samples taken monthly during a year, which will help “determine the proportion of the population has developed antibodies,” according to the same source.
Many hopes are based on serological tests, which can help identify immunized individuals, to accompany the release of the containment in the countries affected by the pandemic.
“The problem is that we have not yet test as good as we want to “, said on Wednesday the head of health services british, Chris Whitty, at a press conference, saying that it hoped that this may be the case ” in the rather near future “.
The United Kingdom is one of the most affected countries in Europe with more than 18 000 people died of the novel coronavirus in the hospital.