Rome Newsroom, Jun 12, 2020 / 08:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
As Italy moves into a new phase of its lockdown reopening, the Diocese of Rome has announced that it will offer free COVID-19 antibody testing for all priests ministering amid the pandemic.
The serology tests for priests will be made possible by a partnership between the diocese and Rome’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases, the first research center in Europe to isolate the DNA sequence of COVID-19.
Testing for antibodies after one has been infected and recovered from COVID-19 could indicate immunity from the coronavirus. However, the World Health Organization has advised that there is a lack of evidence to indicate whether the presence of antibodies is enough to prevent reinfection.
A further benefit of COVID-19 antibody testing is eligibility to donate plasma that could be used to aid COVID-19 patients being treated in intensive care units.
At least 171,300 people in Italy have recovered from the coronavirus, according to the country’s health ministry. As of June 11, 236 patients remained in ICU treatment for COVID-19.