S. Korea finds only 1 case of COVID-19 antibodies out of 3,000 tested
Updated: 2020-07-10 10:05:55 KST
Full-fledged coronavirus antibody tests show only one person in more than 3-thousand people in South Korea have developed antibodies against COVID-19.
This translates to just point-zero-three percent of the population, indicating the virus has not spread widely within the community.
The test was carried out as part of the national health and nutrition survey, to find the true extent of the virus, including people who may have been unaware they had COVID-19.
Three,55 South Koreans were sampled for the tests from May to June.
"All samples tested negative, and out of another batch of samples of 15-hundred patients at hospitals in the country's southwest, only one person was found with neutralizing antibodies."
When infected with COVID-19, one develops antibodies within an average of 10 to 14 days.
While disclosing the study results, the country's health authorities highlighted that they lack representation as some regions - like the hardest hit city of Daegu - have been left out.
"The sample size was small and did not include those from the Daegu region. We also need to take into consideration a range of other possibilities as well."
Medical experts, however, point out that the number of patients could surge in the country, considering the low level of immunity among the public.
"We have a long way ahead of us. We could see more people contracting the virus as only a small portion of the population has antibodies."
Health authorities also explained that South Korea's test results were significantly lower than those of countries like the UK and Spain, which had 17 and 5 percent, respectively.
They also highlight that until there's an effective vaccine or treatment against the virus, fast testing, treatment and strict compliance to quarantine measures are crucial.
The KCDC plans to carry out similar tests every two months.
33-hundred people from Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province will be tested this month.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.