Up to half of the UK population may have already contracted Covid-19, according to modelling by researchers at the University of Oxford.
The study states that the virus may have been going around since the middle of January, around 2-weeks before the first reported case, and around a month before the first reported death. The study into the infection rate was led by Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford. The findings came after the official death toll jumped a record 87 in one day to 422, and confirmed cases passed 8,000.
The study therefore could potentially suggest that the UK population has already achieved a strong-level of heard immunity, and that one around one in a thousand of those who’ve contracted Covid-19 will need hospitalisation.
The Financial Times, which first reported of this study, stated that “To provide the necessary evidence, the Oxford group is working with colleagues at the Universities of Cambridge and Kent to start antibody testing on the general population as soon as possible, using specialised “neutralisation assays which provide reliable readout of protective immunity,” Prof Gupta said. They hope to start testing later this week and obtain preliminary results within a few days.”
This shocking revelation may mean that it might be business as usual sooner rather than later, however the situational is still overall serious as the NHS could still be swamped – countless people are already struggling financially, despite the Government’s measures. The situation will continue to develop, for now everyone should continue to Stay at Home, wash their hands, keep social distancing at all times, and only go out for absolute necessities and only for one form of exercise. Look out for vulnerable members of your community. We shall overcome.
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