THERE are now more than 15 MILLION coronavirus cases worldwide as the deadly bug sweeps the globe.

Of that number, 8.6m people have recovered from the deadly illness – and approximately 624,000 have died.

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Can you catch coronavirus twice?

Initially, it was feared patients could catch the bug twice – after as many as ten per cent of recovered coronavirus patients in China tested positive again after being discharged from hospital.

In March, doctors on the frontline of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, where the virus started, reported that as many as ten per cent of recovered coronavirus patients had tested positive once again after being discharged from hospital.

At that point, the medics reported that between three and ten per cent of cured patients became reinfected with the illness.

However, South Korean scientists concluded that Covid-19 patients cannot relapse after recovering from the disease.

They have blamed faulty tests for second positives.

South Korea’s central clinical committee for emerging disease control says positive test results on people who had tested negative were the result of “fragments” of the virus lingering in their bodies, but with no power to make them ill or to infect others.

Both Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, and Prof Chris Whitty, Boris Johnson’s chief medical adviser, have previously sought to reassure the public.

They claimed those who have had the virus once will develop some immunity – and it is rare to get an infectious disease again.

Sir Vallance revealed some people do catch infectious diseases a second time – but there was no evidence to suggest that it would occur with the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Prof Whitty explained that with diseases, even if there is no long-term immunity, there is normally some short-term immunity.

The Government's current advice is that if coronavirus immunity has been developed there is no guarantee or knowing yet how long that will last.

Consequently, if someone tests positive and develops symptoms again they must still self-isolate.

Is there a new antibody test?

It was announced in May 2020 that millions of Brits could find out if they've had the virus as "100 per cent accurate antibody tests" were set to be rolled out.

Testing giant Roche Diagnostics finally created a kit accurate enough to be used at scale – and the firm says it has enough to provide the NHS with hundreds of thousands every week.

The test supports the detection of antibodies in patients who have been exposed to coronavirus.

Geoff Twist, managing director of Roche Diagnostics UK & Ireland, told the Mail Online: "Reliable antibody testing is the crucial next step in helping us to understand the spread of the virus and to provide much-needed reassurance to our valued key workers, enabling them to continue providing their vital support."

However, antibody tests are still not widely available and the NHS warned that "it does not work for everyone."

What has happened to Paulo Dybala?

Football ace Paulo Dybala in April 2020 tested positive for coronavirus for the fourth time in just six weeks, according to reports.

The Juventus forward was among the first Serie A players to contract Covid-19 alongside team-mates Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi.

He confirmed to his 37.9million Instagram followers on March 21 that both he and girlfriend Oriana Sabatini had caught the disease.

But Spanish programme El Chiringuito stated Dybala has had four tests across the last six weeks and the latest one was positive again.

It is unknown if it is a second infection – or if the star is repeatedly testing positive from the initial virus.

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