AGENCIES, Geneva: As efforts are to normalise life and kickstart paused economies globally, some countries have suggested that people who have antibodies to the coronavirus could be issued an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would allow them to travel or return to work, based on the assumption that they were safe from re-infection.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) doesn’t think this is a good idea. The organisation released a statement on Saturday that there was currently “no evidence” that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second coronavirus infection.
The United Nations health agency warned against issuing “immunity passports” or “risk-free certificates” to people who have been infected, saying the practice may actually increase the risk of spread as they may ignore standard advice.
“Immunity passports” for key workers could be a way of getting people who have had coronavirus back into the workforce more quickly, several scientists and politicians in the UK have suggested.
In Germany, researchers are busy preparing a list of people are already immune to the Covid-19 virus, allowing authorities to eventually issue passes to exclude workers from restrictive lockdown measures.
Chile said last week it would begin handing out “health passports” to people deemed to have recovered from the illness. Once screened to determine if they have developed antibodies to make them immune to the virus, they could immediately rejoin the workforce.