LONDON — Another 32,253 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 6,492,906, according to official figures released Sunday.
The country also reported another 49 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 131,640. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
The UK Health Security Agency will launch a new national surveillance program next week, which will offer antibody testing to adults in Britain who test positive.
The aim is to help improve the health authorities’ understanding of immunity against COVID-19 from vaccination and infection, according to a statement from Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care.
From Tuesday, anyone aged over 18 will be able to opt in to take part when booking a PCR test through NHS Test and Trace. Up to 8,000 people who opt in and then receive a positive PCR result will be sent two finger prick antibody tests to complete at home and send back to a lab for analysis, according to the statement.
The data collected will help estimate the proportion of those who got COVID-19 despite developing antibodies as a result of having a vaccine or previously catching coronavirus.
“Our new national antibody testing will be quick and easy to take part in, and by doing so you’ll be helping strengthen our understanding of COVID-19 as we cautiously return to a more normal life,” said Britain’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.