Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bangladesh finally allows antibody test

Bangladesh finally allows antibody test

Vaccine needs, herd immunity position can now be determined

News Report: Bangladesh finally allows rapid antibody test for coronavirus that would serve two cardinal purposes--how many people have developed immunity through infection and who else need need immediate vaccination. These two determinants are deemed important by medical experts for finding if any localized herd immunity has been developed through community transmission and who need inoculation now towards attaining nationwide herd immunity and final corona-free status of a country. As 2.0 million vaccine doses are already in store and another 5.0 million jabs are arriving today from India, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to inaugurate vaccination on January 27, the rapid antibody test, though approved late, is seen as a wise step to determine if one actually needs vaccination right now. Rapid antigen test has been allowed recently after months of time-consuming and costly RT/PCR test, but it has not been used optimally for certain reasons. Introducing rapid antibody-testing procedure had been a long-pending issue in Bangladesh at the prime time of onslaught by the SARS CoV-2 that causes the Covid- 19. Both cases and casualties in the country have been on a lower plateau for most part of the current winter belying apprehensions of a higher wave, by a contrast to surging waves of the pandemic in western countries, including the US and the UK. The latest official reports Sunday put the daily infection rate down to 3.34 percent or 473 cases and deaths at 20 or 1.51 percent against 14,170 tests. "I have given the permission to launch the testing procedure. It will start now,” Health Minister Zahid Maleque said Sunday, announcing the development. The procedure will be used to determine if a person has the antibodies created in them to fight the virus. An antibody test looks for antibodies that are made by the immune system in response to a threat, such as a specific virus. Antibodies can help fight infections. Antibodies can take several days or weeks to develop after people have an infection and may stay in their blood for several weeks or more after recovery. There is a caveat. For the coronavirus disease, researchers still do not know if the presence of antibodies means that they are immune to COVID-19 in the future. A rapid antibody- testing kit can be used for sero-surveillance, convulsant plasma therapy and research. According to the policy designed by Bangladesh, a rapid test kit must have these words written on its package: ‘this is not a diagnostic kit; the kit will be used only for detecting antibody, not in the acute stage’. The combined sensitivity immunoglobulin M, which is developed at the beginning of the infection and immunoglobulin G, which develops later, should be 90 percent in the kit and specificity should be 95 percent, according to the policy. The sensitivity mentioned here describes the percentage of antibodies found in the blood after 14 days of COVID-19 symptoms subside, according to reports.

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