Malta is developing a strategy to test the country’s immunity to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci has confirmed.
Speaking following a press conference where see revealed five new cases of COVID-19, Gauci explained that while authorities’ primary focus is on isolating confirmed patients, it is also looking at assessing the nation’s immunity to the illness.
The easiest way to assess immunity is through a blood test that looks for protective antibodies in the blood of people who have recovered. Gauci was speaking after similar tests were being employed in Singapore, China and a handful of other countries. They are just coming to the market in most Western countries.
It will give doctors vital knowledge on the time it takes for the body to begin producing antibodies. It might also help point the way to new treatments.
Ever since news, which has been disputed, that several former COVID-19 patients had contracted the virus again, questions have been asked whether people who survive the infection would become immune.
The answer, for now, seems to be yes with scientists indicating that people could build up immunity that lasts at least one or two years. A second bout will be milder than the first.
The total cases of coronavirus in Malta have now reached 134 after five new cases were confirmed this morning.
All of the coronavirus patients are in good health, while a 61-year-old man who became Malta’s first critical case last week is no longer in a critical condition, although he remains in ITU.
Two have officially recovered while the majority are isolating at home. The rest of the patients are receiving treatment at Mater Dei and St Thomas Hospital. They are being treated through pain relief medication like paracetamol.
Doctors are continuously monitoring the situation of the patients who are isolating at home.
If you believe you are suffering from the coronavirus, follow the following guidelines:
Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu.
Do not go to Mater Dei, the emergency department, health centres, private clinics, or pharmacies. Stay home and call the public health authority’s helpline 111.
If you are returning from any country, do not break self-quarantine rules or you will be subject to a €10,000 fine.