MoH says short of test subjects for Covid-19 antibody study

Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Health Ministry had already started its study on antibodies since the Kampung Sungai Lui cluster in Hulu Langat in May. — Reuters pic
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Health Ministry had already started its study on antibodies since the Kampung Sungai Lui cluster in Hulu Langat in May. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — The Ministry of Health (MoH) said today it needs 275 individuals to volunteer for their study on Covid-19 antibodies, as so far it only has 106 registered volunteers.

Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said MOH had already started its study on antibodies since the Kampung Sungai Lui cluster in Hulu Langat in May and found 18-20 per cent of antibodies in the system after the individuals recovered.

“After three months we found the antibodies in the former infected at 18-20 per cent only.

“In order to do any meaningful study we need more individuals to participate in the study and we estimated it’ll be around 275 individuals. We have 106 registered only so far,” Dr Noor Hisham said today during his Covid-19 briefing.

He said the ministry will continue to conduct tests on the individuals by checking them to see if the antibodies stay in the system.

He said so far there are more questions than answers and need more people to participate in the study.

Dr Noor Hisham was also asked about the infectivity rate of individuals who were infected by Covid-19 who recovered and returned to society. Many citizens are still concerned that they could be infected.

Dr Noor Hisham however said that around 60-70 per cent of those infected are not symptomatic.

“There are still those who are infected who are out there who do not have any symptoms. These individuals may have the antibodies in their system already.

“So if we can do more studies and experiments on more individuals it will help us tremendously,” he added.

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