At least 11 out of 100 Stockholm’s residents have virus antibodies, research shows

A new coronavirus test of blood taken from blood donors in Stockholm shows that at least 11 out of 100 had developed antibodies, with the real figure believed to be higher. The research, which is still at an early stage, is being carried out by the Karolinska Institute and Karolinska University Hospital, the local media reported.

The test is only 70-80% sensitive; according to the researchers there will be no false positives, but there may be false negatives, that is people who test negative despite having had the coronavirus.

"You cannot draw conclusions about the exact percentages, but we know that those 11% have had (the coronavirus). It is not enough for a research report, but too important to keep under wraps," clinical microbiologist Jan Albert told broadcaster SVT. The test is set to be rolled out to more people on Tuesday.

Researchers in several countries have been working to develop antibody tests for the coronavirus, in the hope that knowing how many have had the virus will help guide future strategies. However, the WHO has warned that there is no conclusive evidence yet that people who have recovered from the virus are immune and cannot be infected again.

There have been 14,777 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of 20 April in Sweden with 1,580 deaths..

The Swedish government has announced that testing will be ramped up to reach 50,000-100,000 tests per week, with a focus on people in key roles such as police officers and emergency responders.

Everyone in Sweden is urged to stay at home if they are at all sick (even a mild cough or sore throat), practice social distancing, avoid non-essential travel within the country, work from home if possible, follow good hygiene practices, and avoid non-essential visits to elderly people or hospitals. People aged over 70 or in risk groups are advised to avoid social contact as much as possible.




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