April 26 2020
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that recovery from Covid-19 does not protect a person from reinfection.
“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” read the UN health body’s statement yesterday.
Some governments have been studying measures such as “immunity passports” for those who have recovered in order to get people back to work after weeks of lockdown.
WHO instead warned that recovered people may tend to ignore precautions such as wearing facemasks as they assume they are not a danger to themselves or others.
That is a particular worry as testing becomes more widespread, especially testing for Covid-19 antibodies, whose presence indicate a person had previously contracted the virus and recovered.
The WHO’s warning came as the total cases around the world rose to 2.86 million and deaths mounted past the 200,000 mark.
Europe is the hardest-hit region with 122,171 deaths while the United States has the highest number of deaths with 53,070 fatalities, followed by Italy (26,384), Spain (22,902), France (22,614) and the United Kingdom (20,319).
Despite the grim statistics, the daily toll in Western countries appeared to be levelling off and even falling as new reported cases appear to have plateaued at about 80,000 a day.
However, there were worries of a second surge after lockdown restrictions are eased.
Health officials in Iran yesterday raised fears of a fresh outbreak after 76 new fatalities were recorded, bringing the country’s death toll to 5,650.
Tehran health coordinator Alireza Zali criticised “hasty reopenings” that could “create new waves of sickness in Tehran”.