Terrifying coronavirus reinfection rate unveiled by Vallance as not even 8% of UK immune
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Sir Patrick Vallance has warned Britain could be facing 50,000 new COVID-19 cases a day by mid-October leading to 200 deaths a day a month later if the current rate of infection is not halted. He noted that not only are there cases of people getting reinfected with coronavirus but antibodies for the disease fade over time. He added that good progress has been made on a vaccine.
Sir Patrick said: “When people have an infection the vast majority of people get an antibody response and we know that some of those antibodies are so-called neutralising antibodies and they protect against the virus.
“We also know that they fade over time and there are cases of people becoming infected.
“This is not absolute protection and it will potentially decrease over time.
“What we see if something under eight percent of the population have been infected as we measure the antibodies.
“About eight percent, three million or so, have been infected and have antibodies.
“It means that the vast majority of us are not protected in any way and are susceptible to this disease.”
Chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty hinted at curbs to social lives being needed to prevent coronavirus spiralling out of control.
He said: “You cannot in an epidemic just take your own risk, unfortunately you’re taking a risk on behalf of everybody else. It’s important that we see this as something we have to do collectively.”
He said the four things to do are reducing individual risk by washing hands and using masks, quarantine measures, and investing in vaccines and drugs.
Mr Whitty said: “The third one, and in many ways the most difficult, is that we have to break unnecessary links between households because that is the way in which this virus is transmitted.
“And this means reducing social contacts whether they are at work, and this is where we have enormous gratitude to all the businesses for example who have worked so hard to make their environments Covid-secure to reduce the risk, and also in social environments.
“We all know we cannot do this without some significant downsides.
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“This is a balance of risk between if we don’t do enough the virus will take off – and at the moment that is the path we’re clearly on – and if we do not change course we are going to find ourselves in a very difficult problem.”
COVID-19 is a six-month problem that Britain has to deal with collectively as the country enters colder seasons which help viruses and before science can “ride to our rescue”.
Mr Whitty added: “We should see this as a six-month problem that we have to deal with collectively.”
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