England's Covid-19 infections doubling every nine days: Imperial College

A woman's hand sticks out from a car window the middle finger with a patch of blood is extended towards a gloved hand

"Well I think at this stage of course we can rule nothing out because we are a government that is focused on making sure that we stop the spread of this virus and also (that) we protect public health", Ms Patel said.

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The study began in June when they found 6 per cent of people tested had immunity to the virus.

"Our study shows that over time there is reduction in the proportion of people testing positive for antibodies against the virus that causes Covid-19". The authors suggest their results may indicate that immunity to the virus within the general population also rapidly faded after the first wave of the pandemic.

People who have more than five or more symptoms of COVID-19 in the first week were at higher risk of developing long-term COVID, claimed in a study done at King's College London.

He added that since the antibodies don't appear to last long enough for people to develop herd immunity, it may be necessary to instead rely on periodic vaccination once a vaccine is available.

A woman in a face mask walks past London telephone boxes
The UK has recorded a surge in COVID-19 deaths as the region battles a second wave in the pandemic

In their findings, the researchers' analysis of the home finger-prick tests found that the number of people testing positive for antibodies dropped by 26.5% during the study period, from nearly 6% to 4.4%.

"These interim findings paint a concerning picture of the situation in England, where we're seeing a nation-wide increase in infection prevalence, which we know will lead to more hospitalisations and loss of life", said Professor Paul Elliott, director of the programme at Imperial College London.

The University of Birmingham's Karol Sikora told CGTN that the results of the study were unsurprising but hopes immunity could come from other sources.

Healthcare workers' antibody levels remained unchanged. "Therefore, we know that we must more carefully monitor those in this age group, and possibly vaccinate this group more frequently than others due to their decreased ability to maintain protective levels of antibodies". "If someone tests positive for antibodies, they still need to follow national guidelines including social distancing measures, getting a swab test if they have symptoms and wearing face coverings where required".

The tests are not full-proof on a person-to-person level.

The FDA-authorized finger-prick blood sample tests will be available at all Kroger pharmacies and clinics by the end of November. The largest was in those over 75, among whom the proportion fell by 39%. "However, with coronavirus infections, we tend to see the opportunity for reinfection on a yearly basis, thus these other mechanisms may not be able to defend against this novel coronavirus". Their team developed organoids containing types of lung and colon cells that are known to become infected in people with COVID-19.