New York state to launch large-scale COVID-19 antibody testing

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New York: New York state, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, will begin a large-scale antibody testing in the following week as an initial step to decide when and how it could reopen its economy amid the health crisis, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The antibody testing can help determine who have been infected with COVID-19 and then recovered, which “will be the first true snapshot of what we’re really dealing with”, Xinhua news agency quoted Cuomo as saying at his daily briefing on Sunday.

It will be conducted by the state’s health department as the “most aggressive statewide antibody testing survey in the nation”, he said.

According to the governor, 507 died of COVID-19 overnight in the state, bringing the total deaths to 18,298. Over 30 of the 507 died in nursing homes.

Cuomo said New York has passed the peak of infection given the downward trends of key indicators such as total hospitalizations, ICU admissions and intubations.

Nonetheless, he still warned New Yorkers to stay vigilant, saying: “This is only halftime in this entire situation.” Cuomo again called on President Donald Trump to allocate more funding to hard-hit states like New York.

“If we don’t get federal assistance, you’re looking at education cuts of close to 50 percent in New York,” he said.

New York state has reported 247,815 COVID-19 cases, over 30 percent of the country’s total, which stood at 759,467 as of Monday morning, according to the Johns Hopkins University.