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Three percent of people may have developed Covid-19 antibodies

Three percent of people may have developed Covid-19 antibodies

Three percent of people may have developed Covid-19 antibodies

Figures from a recent study show that three percent of the population in the Netherlands may have developed antibodies against the coronavirus. Antibodies are proteins that are used by the immune system to neutralize pathogens.

Building immunity

A study has shown that three percent of people in the Netherlands may have developed antibodies against the coronavirus. According to the RIVM, Sanquin, the Dutch blood healthcare organisation, studied blood and plasma samples from around 7.000 donors over a one-week period. Three percent of the samples showed antibody production and, if this figure is extrapolated to the Netherlands’ population, over 500.000 people may have developed some kind of immunity.

While the production of antibodies usually denotes some sort of immunity, Jaap van Dissel, head of the Center for Infectious Disease Control at the RIVM, emphasised that antibodies do not guarantee immunity. Van Dissel told MPs that research into immunity is still being undertaken and has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

According to the RIVM, 40 laboratories around the country are capable of undertaking 17.500 tests a day. The materials used to actually carry out the tests still have to become available, however, it appears that the Netherlands has secured these materials. 

Exit strategy

According to experts, 60 percent of the population needs to be immune to the coronavirus before “herd immunity” can be reached. Despite this, experts are starting to consider the “exit strategy” from the so-called intelligent lockdown. This strategy includes allowing the northern provinces, which haven’t been as affected by the virus, to ease their quarantine restrictions faster.

According to Van Dissel, experts will be studying other countries that are removing their lockdown restrictions over the next few weeks to see if the virus begins to spread again. “Norway has already started reopening creches and primary schools. That gives us a bit of time to see what the effect is before we make our decision,” he said.

William Nehra

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William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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