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No antibody tests for Covid-19 approved in Kenya yet - State

So far, the Molecular based test is the only approved testing procedure for Covid-19 in the country.

In Summary

• The antibody test checks whether a person has developed antibodies against the coronavirus, which may mean that person has at least some immunity.

Chief Administrative Secretary Health Rashid Aman address the press on coronavirus update at Afya house on April 26,2020/ MERCY MUMO
Chief Administrative Secretary Health Rashid Aman address the press on coronavirus update at Afya house on April 26,2020/ MERCY MUMO

Molecular based testing for Covid-19 is the only procedure approved by the government so far, Health CAS Rashid Aman has said.

The CAS on Tuesday said other tests, including the antibody-based test, are yet to be approved.

"Currently, our biggest concern is to determine whether one is infected with the virus and not what these other tests detect which is that somebody has been exposed to the virus in the past and has an antibody," he said.

Aman was speaking during the daily Covid-19 update presser where he announced 11 new cases of the virus, raising the number to 374.

Antibody tests have been touted in some European countries including the UK as well as the US. They have been fronted as a means of determining who should be allowed to go back to work as countries seek to slowly reopen the economy.

The antibody test checks whether a person has developed antibodies against the coronavirus, which may mean that person has at least some immunity.

The new cases reported in Kenya on Tuesday included two children aged three years and the oldest case being 75.

Of the new cases, seven are from Nairobi and four from Mombasa.

Aman said the antibody testing procedure is useful but not yet in the country.

For it to be approved, there is a process that the Pharmacy and Poison Board and other regulatory authorities undertake to be able to put those on the market, he said.

Diagnostic tests and antibody blood tests are the only two kinds of tests available for Covid-19.

Diagnostic tests - the molecular test - check samples from one's respiratory system (such as swabs of the inside of the nose) to tell if one currently has an infection.

 

Antibody blood tests also called serologic tests may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take one to three weeks to make antibodies after symptoms occur.