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About 3.4 million people in England – 6% of the population – have contracted coronavirus, with twice as high infections in London, a large antibody study has found.
A massive survey of more than 100,000 people – which the government says is the largest of its kind in the world – suggested that the extent of the outbreak varied widely between different areas and population groups.
in London, 13% of people had antibodies while in the South West of England it was less than 3%, according to research released by the Department of Health and Imperial College London. People from black, Asian and other ethnic groups, care workers and people living in larger families were among the most predisposed to get infected.
The research involved 100,000 people testing themselves at home for coronavirus antibodies between June 20 and July 13. The government said it exists no strong evidence that antibodies provide immunity.
But the findings are significant because they are likely to influence decisions that officials will make about what kind of blocking restrictions are needed in the future, and which groups are at greatest risk. Boris Johnson’s government has been attacked for its treatment of the pandemic, which left the UK in the UK with the highest death toll in Europe and facing the deepest recession of any comparable country.
There was no progress in attempting a home antibody test for general use in public. Separate studies, also unveiled Thursday, evaluated a series of home antibody tests but found the results were not reliable enough to give the government approval for widespread use, officials said. The tests were still considered appropriate surveillance studies such as Imperial research.
The burden of Covid-19 “has fallen particularly on ethnic minority groups and key workers, particularly in care homes and health care, ”Said the professor Helen Ward, one of the researchers involved. “Those in deprived and densely populated areas are more likely to be exposed to the virus, and we need to do much more to protect people from any future wave of infection.”
- Among the most susceptible to infection were home care workers (16%) and health care staff (12%).
- In the wider population, 17% of people of Black descent and 12% of people from Asian groups were infected.
- People in the most deprived areas of England had higher levels of antibodies than those in the richer areas.
- The study suggested that one in three people with antibodies showed no symptoms, a feature that increased among over 65-year-olds.
This surveillance study will be repeated in the fall and will test another 200,000 people for antibodies. The government encouraged more people to register.
“Large-scale antibody surveillance studies are essential to help us understand how the virus has spread across the country and whether there are specific groups that are most vulnerable,” the Minister of Health said. Said Edward Argar in an email statement. “We do not yet know that antibodies provide immunity to the coronavirus, but the more information we can gather about this virus, and the easier it can be for people to participate in these studies, the better equipped we will be to ‘replied. “