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5 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Government’s scientific advisers warn of black market for fake antibody test results

By Samuel Horti

Using antibody tests to decide whether people can return to work could lead some people to deliberately catch coronavirus or buy fake test results, the group of scientists advising the government has warned. 

A sub-group of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) last month warned of the “negative behavioural responses” that could result from widespread use of antibody tests, documents released today show. Employers might discriminate against staff based on an antibody test results, the scientists warned.

If a positive test was required to return to work, people might “game” the system by deliberately becoming infected or by buying a fake test result from the black market, they said. The government needed to proactively introduce measures to stop that from happening, they added.

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