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Survey to test 20,000 people for COVID-19 antibodies

6 Jul 2020

To determine the extent of prevalence of the pandemic in the society, the Ministry of Health (MoH) will start the national serological (blood tests that look for antibodies) survey for COVID-19 infection from July 12.

The survey will collect around 20,000 samples, at the rate of 4,000 samples over five days and 300 to 400 samples from each governorate.

The survey, which will focus on taking blood samples from a cross-section of people of all ages, will reveal the actual spread of infection in the society by looking at prevalence of antibodies against COVID-19 among the people. 

In a statement, MoH said, that the survey will take place over a period of 10 weeks. ‘The survey is expected to cover all governorates and will collect around 20,000 samples at the rate of 4,000 samples over a period of five days and 300 to 400 samples from each governorate,’ it said.

The aim of the survey is to assess the extent of infection according to different age groups among the whole population, including expatriates, monitor cases not diagnosed in the laboratory, and estimate the level of infection at the wilayat level.

It will also look at the rate of infections among asymptomatic people and the cumulative number of cases of infection.

In addition, it will assess the impact on the standard of living because of the disease and the effects of lockdown on the spread of the pandemic compared to the areas that were not closed down.

Results of the survey will be used as markers for restrictions on the movement to be lifted or placed and businesses and services to open or close. It will also help in gauging immunity against COVID-19 in the population.

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