S. Korea to conduct COVID-19 antibody testing of 10,000 people

SEOUL-- The government will conduct COVID-19 antibody testing on 10,000 people to determine how many of them have antibodies and learn more about immunity, Ahn Cheol-soo, chairman of the presidential transition committee, said Wednesday.

The transition committee requested the government conduct the testing because it will provide "very helpful scientific data for disease control and containment management," Ahn said.

An antibody test shows whether people were infected with the virus in the past, even if they were asymptomatic.

Ahn said antibody testing for a large number of people became more important in the COVID-19 wave driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant.

Daily COVID-19 cases rose above 420,000 on Wednesday amid concerns over the continued rise in seriously ill patients and deaths over the fast spread of the "stealth omicron" subvariant.

Ahn said the transition committee asked the government to draw up measures to reduce the number of seriously ill patients and deaths.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol has asked his transition committee to put its top priority on overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, including compensation for small businesses hit by the pandemic.

Source: Yonhap News Agency