UK coronavirus live: 6% of people in England may have had Covid, study finds

3.4 million infections figure from Imperial College London is far higher than previous estimates

7.49am BST

Yesterday the Department of Health and Social Care reduced the UK’s death toll by more than 5,000 following a review of how figures are calculated.

Professor David Spiegelhalter, the Covid data guru from the University of Cambridge, suggests the old way of totting up the deaths was “ridiculous”.

7.35am BST

Around 3.4 million people in England have been infected with Covid-19, a figure far higher than previous estimates, a study suggests.

Professor Helen Ward from Imperial College, one of the lead authors, has just been on Radio 4’s Today programme discussing the study, which gave 100,000 volunteers simple finger-prick home testing kits.

These kits are very good for the kind of research we have done, that is they can tell us how common it is in the population. For any one individual, the result isn’t 100% accurate – actually no test is – but for this one it will miss some people who have had the infection and will give false results in some people who haven’t. But they are small numbers and we can adjust for that when we do 100,000 tests.

The bigger uncertainty actually is: what does it mean? I don’t think it’s a game changer because we don’t know if you have antibodies you are at reduced risk and how long, if you are at reduced risk, that lasts. So in terms of individuals who have done this test we say: even if you are antibody positive you may still be at risk.

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: UK coronavirus live: 6% of people in England may have had Covid, study finds ———

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