No evidence of developing “immunity” for Covid-19 recovered patients – WHO says

  • AUTHOR: anam
  • POSTED ON: April 29, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) rejected the theory about supposed “immunity” among coronavirus recovered patients in their scientific brief released on Friday.

While scientists previously theorized that Covid-19 recovered patients could not contract the deadly virus again, some governments are considering issuing “immunity passport” for the recovered people to get back to their usual life again.

WHO warned governments against taking any such measure of providing “risk-free certificates” to recovered patients, allowing them to return to their work, as yet there is “no evidence” that supports the theory of developing immunity among recovered patients.

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 use of such certificates may, therefore, increase the risks of continued transmission,” said WHO.

The statement comes after Chile proposed providing immunity cards that serve as a passport, allowing people to travel and get back to their work. Other countries such as France and the United Kingdom have also expressed interest in a similar proposition. Moreover, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, suggested it as a possible approach for relaxing lockdown in the city.

The brief further stated that most studies have identified antibodies in the blood of recovered patients, but not all of them have a sufficient level of antibodies that develops complete immunity from the virus. “No study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to Sars-Cov-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by the virus in human,” said WHO.

The data from hard-hit countries such as China and South Korea have indicated that a rising number of recovered patients seem to have suffered from the recurrence of the virus.

About 2 percent of recovered patients in South Korea were quarantined after testing positive for the second time. Health care officials in Wuhan China, have reported that about five to ten percent of patients declared “recovered” have contracted the virus again.

Though it was unclear whether the relapse of the disease is an indication of the second wave of virus, it may be due to the reactivation of a viral strain in the body or the insufficient or inaccurate antibody test.

WHO has restrained governments for imposing any reopening strategy based on this supposed immunity stating, “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.”

Well, with this new information, we are now certain that there is no way of developing immunity against the virus until we have a vaccine. Governments that are optimistic with the “immunity card” reopening strategy have now been asked to reconsider. If beating Covid-19 once doesn’t provide any immunity, then the whole population is still at risk of a possible outbreak until we discover a vaccine.

Updated April 29, 2020
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