Two members from WHO origin tracing team tests positive before going Wuhan
GENEVA- Two members of the international expert team of the World Health Organization (WHO) scheduled to fly from Singapore to China’s Wuhan on Thursday have been tested positive for IgM antibodies, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday.
At the 6th Meeting of the Emergency Committee on COVID-19, Tedros said that the other 13 members of the team to study the origins of the novel coronavirus have arrived in Wuhan as scheduled.
“The other two are still in Singapore after they tested positive for IgM antibodies, but negative for PCR. They are now being retested for both IgM and IgG, and we are waiting for results,” the WHO chief said.
A positive IgM antibody indicates that a person may have been infected and that the immune system has started responding to the virus. This should be followed up with PCR testing, and a negative result means that person was probably not infected at the time their sample was collected.
IgG antibody test will see whether the person being tested was infected with COVID-19 in the past and the immune system has developed antibodies to protect from future infection.
The team members who have arrived in Wuhan will be in quarantine for the next two weeks, and will begin working remotely with counterparts in China, Tedros said.
They will then continue their work on the ground for another two weeks, Tedros said.