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Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has revealed preparations are underway to commence the second round of COVID-19 seroprevalence study.
Maldives National University (MNU) launched antibody testing as part of a study aimed to identify the percentage of the people in the community who have had past exposure to the virus and recovered. The antibody testing under the seroprevalence study is being done collectively by MNU and the Health Protection Agency (HPA). As part of the first round, samples children aged under 18-years.
Speaking in a press conference held at HEOC, Epidemiologist at HPA Dr. Ibrahim Afzal said collecting samples for the first round of seroprevalence study have been completed. He noted the second round focuses on conducting the tests for individuals above 18-years.
HPA revealed the participants are selected at random by age group and results will be used to strategise further COVID-19 control measures. HPA added the agency will contact the randomly selected participants over the next two weeks to collect blood samples.
MNU stated Rapid Response Team (RRT) will be collecting blood samples for the study. HPA and MNU have assured the study adheres to guidelines and safety standards set by World health Organisation (WHO), adding the study will allow HPA to better its policies and review its guidelines.
While the Maldives has begun antibody testing, HPA has also issued permission to Medtech Maldives to carry out rapid antigen testing. Additionally, Medtech has been requested to carry out PCR testing to ensure results if rapid antigen testing shows a negative result.