The UK Begins Large-Scale Testing For The Presence Of Antibodies To The New Coronavirus
The test will involve about 20,000 households (about 25,000 people) located in England, with the subsequent expansion of the study to other parts of the Kingdom, according to the data published on the UK government official website.
This is a state program to study the spread of COVID-19 among the population. In total, up to 300,000 people will participate in the program within 12 months.
Specially trained health workers will visit the study participants at home, take swabs from their nose and throat, and conduct a small survey.
The first test should show whether the subject is a carrier of the coronavirus. Then, for the first five weeks, participants will take weekly additional tests, and then one test per month for 12 months. Blood tests will also be performed in approximately 1,000 households (only in those where there are no and have not been cases of coronavirus) to determine the presence of antibodies to the coronavirus. Blood will be taken for analysis every month for 12 months.
The research is carried out by the UK Department of health and social care (DHSC) and The national statistics office (ONS). Scientific expertise is provided by the University of Oxford, the national center for biological samples, and many other institutions.
According to British health Minister Matt Hancock, "the results of the study will help to better understand the current spread of the virus, predict its future spread and inform the actions we are taking, including, crucially, the development of fundamentally new trials and treatments."