By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Costa Rica Ministry of Health reported an additional 1,338 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, bringing the country total to 63,712 confirmed cases.

Costa Rica /CIA

Twenty additional deaths were reported, putting that total to 706 deaths related to COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health also announced last week that five laboratories–the Echandi laboratories, Hospital Clínica Bíblica, Hospital la Católica, Hospital Cima and Laboratorio Labin–received the endorsement for the acquisition of antibody tests, complying with the provisions of the guidelines for the use of serological tests to identify antibodies against SARS -CoV-2.

These laboratories have been authorized to import tests from the manufacturing companies Abbott and Snibe Inc.

In addition, the Ministry of Health approved the health records of antibody tests from Roche and BioMérieux SA laboratories. In the country, the distributor to market these immunoglobulin tests are Equitron SA for Roche, and Tecno Diagnóstica SA for BioMérieux.

These types of tests measure the concentration of different types of antibodies in the blood, allowing to identify if a person has been previously exposed to the virus that produces COVID-19 and therefore developed antibodies.

The authorized uses of antibody tests are:

  • Biomedical research studies, for example, observational, clinical research, duly authorized as established by Law 9234, Biomedical Research Regulatory Law.
  • Immune response studies to vaccines against COVID-19, duly authorized by the same bodies mentioned in the previous point.
  • Evaluation of the immune response of people who have recovered from COVID-19, for the process of donating and receiving therapeutic convalescent plasma.
  • Support for the diagnosis of special medical situations where patients have late complications of COVID-19 such as multisystemic inflammatory syndrome in children and adolescents (MISC) or Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).
  • Users of private health services, as indicated by the treating physician.