COVID-19: UAE rolls out new antibody testing kit

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A new testing kit has been launched in the UAE for detecting COVID-19 antibodies in people.

It will support the efforts of frontline workers and will also help organisations with the return of their employees to the workplace.

The serology test kits can determine whether individuals have been exposed to the virus and have developed antibodies.

However, they are not meant to replace the traditional RT- PCR testing, and will instead complement its efforts.

The Abu Dhabi-based National Reference Laboratory (NRL), part of Mubadala Healthcare’s network, has announced plans to release the kits to the local market.

While acknowledging that Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing remains the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19, NRL experts are highlighting the benefits of their new serology test kits, stating these complementary antibody tests provide useful information for treating the disease and analyzing its spread, as well as having potential implications for human resource planning.

"While anyone can take these tests to determine whether they have been exposed to the virus and have developed antibodies, it does not mean they can ignore precautions, more studies are needed on the protective nature of the antibodies," said Dr. Laila Abdel Wareth, NRL’s Deputy CEO and Chief Scientific Officer.

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