Finland is going to start tracking the spread of the new coronavirus or COVID-19 in its population with the randomised antibody tests, the public health authority stated on Tuesday.

The main hospitals are going to mail invitations letters to randomly chosen citizens of all the ages for getting tested for the antibodies which patients suffering from the COVID-19 develop, that includes those who got infected with the illness without showing any symptoms.

First tests will be in the region around the capital

Coronavirus
Workers of Junjiang Industrial Limited Company produce medical masks in Yilong New District at Bouyei-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Qianxinan in southwest China's Guizhou Province, Feb. 21, 2020. Medical supply companies in Yilong New District have been producing medical supplies at full capacity to support the fight against the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin/IANS) Xinhua/IANS

The first tests will be in the region around the capital, Helsinki, and the results will be used to help the government decide what measures are needed to curb the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. "The main aim of the research which will begin now is to get up-to-date information on how large a proportion of the population has formed antibodies that indicate an earlier encounter with the coronavirus," the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare said in a statement.

"By assessing the occurrence of antibodies in the population, we can track to what extent the epidemic has spread among different age groups and in different areas." Finland has confirmed 2,176 confirmed coronavirus cases. Twenty-seven people in the European Union member state have died after contracting the virus.

(With agency inputs)