Mike Catton, deputy director of the Doherty Institute, told a news conference on Wednesday “the virus can be used in the assessment of the effectiveness of vaccines particularly and of medicines.”

“It also gives us the opportunity to create a first-generation antibody test, and that’s important both in the clinical management of patients who may be late in the illness … and it’s also really important for us to look at things like asymptomatic infection with the virus or mild infection that hasn’t come to the attention of health authorities, and those patients haven’t been tested and identified as cases.”