March 25, 2020
The coronavirus could have infected as much as half of the population of the United Kingdom, according to researchers at the University of Oxford – as the official death toll jumps a record 87 in one day to 422 and confirmed cases leap by 1,427.
The new model from Oxford University suggests the virus was circulating in the UK by mid-January, around two weeks before the first reported case and a month before the first reported death.
This means it could have had enough time to have spread widely, with many Britons acquiring immunity. Sunetra Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology who led the study, said testing was needed to assess the theory.
‘We need immediately to begin large-scale serological surveys – antibody testing – to assess what stage of the epidemic we are in now,’ she said.
It comes after 87 more patients died overnight in England, including 21 at the one NHS trust in London. Scotland also announced two fatalities, while Wales and Northern Ireland confirmed another death.
In contrast, fifty-four infected Brits died the day before. The UK’s death toll has risen almost six-fold in the space of a week, with just 71 fatalities recorded last Tuesday.
Britain also saw a record spike in cases today, with 1,427 more patients known to have caught the virus as the total number of infected Britons surpassed 8,000.
This article was posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 4:49 am