September 25, 2020


Public Health England (PHE) figures show that 9.9 of people in London were found to have antibodies compared to 4.7 per cent in North East England and 6.5 per cent in Birmingham. This is down from an estimated 7.1 per cent earlier in the pandemic.

The figures are based on samples taken from blood donors in different parts of the UK.

Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England’s medical director, said earlier this week: “We reckon that, over the peak, we had in London about 16 percent of the population showing that they had antibodies.

“This is dropping off now, and it’s now much lower than that. Overall, between six and 10 per cent of the population are showing those kind of antibodies as we do our regular seroprevalence testing.”

It comes after a recent study showed that scientists managed to isolate antibodies from COVID-19 patients which are among the most potent in neutralising coronavirus.

 

It comes after a recent study showed that scientists managed to isolate antibodies from COVID-19 patients which are among the most potent in neutralising coronavirus.

The study showed that these antibodies could be produced in large quantities by pharmaceutical companies to treat patients, especially early in the course of infection.

They can also be used to prevent infection, particularly in the elderly, the scientists say.

The study, published in Nature, reports that researchers have confirmed the purified, strongly neutralising antibodies provide significant protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters.

David Ho, scientific director of the Aaron Diamond Aids Research Centre and professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, directed the study.

He said: “We now have a collection of antibodies that’s more potent and diverse compared to other antibodies that have been found so far, and they are ready to be developed into treatments.”

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8am update: Fightback over Government’s Spain quarantine plan 

Consumer rights and travel groups have criticised the Government after it moved suddenly to re-impose quarantine restrictions on those returning from Spain.

Ministers announced on Saturday that holidaymakers who had not returned from Spain and its islands by midnight would be forced to quarantine for 14 days after COVID-19 second wave fears saw the European country struck off the UK’s safe list.

But questions have been asked about why the so-called “travel corridor” with the UK’s most popular holiday destination was suspended with little notice, with the sudden turn of events catching out even Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who is currently in Spain for his summer break.

Mr Shapps, whose department formally announced the rule change, had to dial in from Spain to discuss altering the guidance with Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.



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