More than two thirds (7 in 10) of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 have shown no symptoms. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the figure underlines why it is so important to insist on social distancing and to not meet too many people, too soon, as restrictions are lifted. It also highlights why we must not become complacent of the measures in place.
Medical experts and scientists have cautioned that some results could be false positive, but the more worrying thing is that this might make asymptomatic carriers unaware they have the virus and so not report it via the new NHS Track and Trace service. In more bad news, of those who have had the coronavirus, only 1 in 15 people had antibodies, which indicates that they had recovered from coronavirus. This has all but ended hopes that the theory of ‘herd immunity’ would all but end the coronavirus pandemic before a vaccine was found.
8,000 people a day are still becoming infected with the coronavirus across the UK with the virus and about 133,000 people in England currently have the virus. Sir Patrick Vallance this week (the Government’s chief scientific advisor) rightly said that 54,000 people being infected each week is not a low number. We are by no means though this. We are still seeing high rates of new infection and this leaves very little room for restrictions to be lifted.
79% of those who tested positive for coronavirus reported that they had no symptoms in the weeks before and after being tested. This means people are likely to be infections and show no signs.
These findings are consistent with those from other countries too. The reality still remains that the vast majority of us have not had the disease and this is a virus which will infect all of us. It highlights that the biggest problem for the new NHS Track and Trace service are the asymptomatic carriers.
What Is Contact Tracing?
This diagram shows the importance of contact tracing and the dangers of not socially distancing in local communities: