- Dec 12, 2018
There is no evidence that people who have recovered from coronavirus have immunity to the disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
The UK government has bought 3.5 million serology tests - which measure levels of antibodies in blood plasma.
But senior WHO epidemiologists have warned that there is no proof that such antibody tests can show if someone who has been infected with COVID-19 cannot be infected again.
Many of the tests being developed are pinprick blood tests similar to instant HIV tests and measure for raised levels of the antibodies that the body uses to fight the virus.
Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Dr Maria van Kerkhove said: "There are a lot of countries that are suggesting using rapid diagnostic serological tests to be able to capture what they think will be a measure of immunity.
"Right now, we have no evidence that the use of a serological test can show that an individual has immunity or is protected from reinfection."
She added: "These antibody tests will be able to measure that level of seroprevalence - that level of antibodies - but that does not mean that somebody with antibodies means that they are immune."
Epidemiologists warn there is no proof that antibody tests can show if someone who has been infected cannot be infected again.