icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
21 Sep, 2020 12:11

Senior UK govt adviser claims Covid-19 antibodies fade over time, warns of nearly 50,000 cases per day by mid-October

Senior UK govt adviser claims Covid-19 antibodies fade over time, warns of nearly 50,000 cases per day by mid-October

The UK government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, has warned that immunity against coronavirus doesn’t last forever, adding that there could be tens of thousands of new cases each day if the virus goes unchecked.

In a press briefing on Monday, Vallance said that less than eight percent of the UK population have antibodies that shield them from the disease, making the “vast majority” of people “susceptible” to the virus. He stated that city populations likely had a higher percentage of people with antibodies, putting the number at around 17 percent in London. However, even if the numbers were higher, there is no “absolute protection” against the disease because antibodies disappear over time. 

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, who also spoke at the briefing, warned that the National Health Service (NHS) would have fewer resources to treat non-Covid patients if the virus continues to spread and overwhelms the healthcare system. 

Vallance showed a graph that projected around 49,000 Covid-19 cases each day by mid-October if the transmission follows current trends. He said that the rise in cases could lead to 200 deaths per day by mid-November. 

The UK has reported 3,899 new cases over the past 24 hours, as well as 18 deaths. Although the number of new cases has risen in recent weeks, fatalities have remained relatively low. 

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed on Friday that the number of hospitalizations for coronavirus has doubled every eight days, but this figure has come under considerable scrutiny. Journalist Peter Hitchens noted in his latest Mail on Sunday column that hospital admissions for the disease remain extremely low compared to March, and that there was no “established pattern” supporting the government’s claim. He accused Hancock of “unscrupulous panic-mongering which would shame a banana republic.” 

The briefing coincided with an open letter released by a group of UK medical professionals and academics, which argued that the “existing policy path” being used to combat Covid-19 was “inconsistent” with the actual risk posed by the disease.

One of the letter’s signatories, Professor Karol Sikora, has been warning for months that the NHS has focused too much on coronavirus while neglecting routine cancer tests and treatment, potentially putting tens of thousands of lives needlessly at risk. 

Like this story? Share it with a friend!