Blood-testing kits which can determine if a person has had Covid-19 available soon
The Health Department is awaiting the validation of kits which will be able to determine if a person has been infected with Covid-19 through a blood test, even if he has never had symptoms.
On Dissett, Virologist Dr Chris Barbara said that the kits were already in Malta, indicating that these new tests could be in use soon.
In addition to testing for COVID-19 by means of swabs, the Health Department is awaiting the necessary checks on a new test to determine whether or not a person has had the Coronavirus. This test that can be carried out at home by puncturing the finger, processes results in minutes, allowing an individual to find out if they have immunity to COVID-19.
Speaking on the program, Virologist Dr.Chris Barbara said that with this blood test, more people will be able to put their mind at rest and determine if they are immune to the virus.
“These kits we’ve been waiting for have arrived, but it’s not just a question of the kit arriving, you also need to validate it to make sure it is working properly. Today these antibody tests on the market are not validated, like normal tests are, because this is still a completely new virus. ”
With regard to letters received by people vulnerable to COVID-19, Professor Charmaine Gauci said that these letters sufficed for the purposes of exemption from work.
Asked whether a lockdown ought to be held at the weekend, Professor Gauci said that Health authorities would not like to step up measures unless this was necessary.
“If people listen we won’t have to take measures. We have to remember that this is not a week-long situation; this is a fairly long period we’re talking about. We know the situation in other countries so we have to be careful so that whatever measures we are taking, we give people a chance to adapt to.
Asked by the public about the measures to be taken by food vendors, Dr. Barbara said that hand washing was more important than using gloves.
“If you’re going to wear the same gloves all day, especially if you think you’re protected and you touch your face, then it’s even more dangerous because wearing gloves and touching your face can infect you immediately. Better not use gloves and use wipes and wash your hands. ”
Regarding frozen food products, Dr. Barbara said that if they contain the virus, the virus would remain alive when the product was removed. Dr Barbara said that foodstuffs should be wiped down with disinfectant before they are placed in the freezer.