‘Immunity passports’ could speed up return to work after Covid-19

April 3, 2020 By Stephan

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A technician opens a shipment of patient swabs to test them for possible coronavirus infection in a lab room at the IFLb medical lab in Berlin

A technician opens a shipment of patient swabs to test them for possible coronavirus infection in a lab room at the IFLb medical lab in Berlin on Monday. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

“Immunity passports” for key workers could be a way of getting people who have had coronavirus back into the workforce more quickly, scientists and politicians in the UK have suggested.

Researchers in Germany are currently preparing a mass study into how many people are already immune to the Covid-19 virus, allowing authorities to eventually issue passes to exclude workers from restrictive measures currently in place.

The study, which is yet to finalise funding, would involve testing the blood of more than 100,000 volunteers for coronavirus antibodies from mid-April. The test would then be repeated at regular intervals on an accumulatively larger sample of the population, to track the pandemic’s progress.

The shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said: “Germany appears to be leading the way in the testing and we have much to learn from their approach. I’ve repeatedly called for more testing and contact tracing in the UK, and we should be looking at initiatives like this closely.”

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/immunity-passports-could-speed-up-return-to-work-after-covid-19