The move is being led by scientists at Oxford University and is expected to provide information on the spread rates, provide information on the viruses and point to the antibody developers. “Information gathering is an essential part of our response to Coronavirus,” the British Health Minister said.
The British government has announced a new study to examine the effects of the Coronavirus across the country. The purpose of this study is to understand the rate of the outbreak, the rate of infection, and the number of people who have developed antibodies to the virus. The move was developed by Oxford University scientists and its initial results are expected to be published in early May.
The program will include coronavirus testing and subjects’ home questioning. By these means, it will be possible to see if the person has the virus, and if so – within the study, he will be asked to perform additional tests every week for the first 5 weeks. In the second stage – participants will be tested once a month for a year. The samples taken over time will help determine the rate in the general population of the country that has developed antibodies to the virus, and will closely monitor the emerging trends.
In the first phase of the study, some 20,000 households, selected as the best representative of the population, will take part in it, in terms of age and area of residence. The pilot is expected to focus on England, but will later cover the entire kingdom. The move is expected to expand over the coming year, and according to planning, some 300,000 people are expected to attend it eventually.
“Collecting the information on the rate of disease and antibody development is an essential part of our ongoing response to the virus,” said British Health Minister Matt Hancock. “The move will help to monitor the extent of the current infection and at the same time allow us to answer crucial questions about public vaccination,” he added. “This is how we can better understand the path of expansion and anticipate future developments,” Hancock concluded.