The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday warned countries against giving people who have recovered from Covid-19 “immunity passports”.
Some countries have said they intend rolling out a program of issuing out “immunity passports” or “risk-free certificates” to people who have recovered from Covid-19.
These countries believe such patients cannot be re-infected since they have antibodies that protect them from a second coronavirus infection.
Most studies have shown that patients who recover from infection have antibodies to the virus.
The WHO said some of these patients however have very low levels of neutralizing antibodies in their blood. That suggests “that cellular immunity may also be critical for recovery.”
The global body in a scientific brief warned governments against relaxing health precautions saying there is “no evidence” recovered patients can’t be re-infected.
The fear for WHO is that relaxing health precaution for recovered patients could trigger a second wave of outbreak.
According to the WHO said “Some governments have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could serve as the basis for an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate’ that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection.”
“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” it said.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 25, 2020
Globally some 2.8 million people have been infected by the coronavirus and 196,298 have died as at April 25, 2020.