ENGLAND’S deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries said recovered coronavirus patients seem to get immunity to the virus.
Dr Harries said coronavirus patients appear to have Covid-specific antibodies for months. Speaking at the No10 coronavirus press conference last night, she said a “very large percentage of patients who have otherwise been pretty well do actually have a pretty good response”.
The senior Government medical adviser also said there were “some signs” that younger children are potentially less like to transmit coronavirus.
However, this does not mean they cannot get infected.
Dr Harries also told the press conference: “What we do know for children is that if they get infected… younger children probably tend to have less clinical disease, and if they have clinical disease – ie, they show some symptoms – they tend to progress less frequently to severe disease, so that’s pretty good.”
She also shared promising signs that those who have recovered from the disease are developing immunity.
This builds further hopes that there could be a vaccine that would help develop immunity.
She said: “I think we are also starting to see with some very small pieces of evidence now from people in this country who have had Covid-19 and who have tested positive.
“We have looked for their antibodies, and a very large percentage of patients who have otherwise been pretty well do actually have a pretty good response.
“How long that is going to last and whether it is going to provide an antibody response say for one season or two-three year ahead, we don’t know.”
She said signs of immunity could vary from patient to patient.
However, doctors would expect people to have some immunity about a week and a half after being ill.
Dr Harries explained: “We know that some people will have different status.
“We would normally expect to see some sign of immunity about 10-12 days after an infection, and then a very consistent pattern about 28 days.”
Evidence from other countries such as South Korea has also suggested people have been developing immunity after falling ill with the coronavirus.
Professor John Newton told yesterday’s daily briefing: “It is obviously promising.
“I think people have said before in these briefings that it would be very surprising if there was no immunity after infection, but at the moment the science is still not precise about how much immunity you get and how long it lasts.”
The news comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancocks goal of 100,000 tests per day was exceeded.
Yesterday UK coronavirus tests hit 122,347 in a single day.
The Health Secretary, who pledged 100,000 tests would take place daily by the end of April, said the huge accomplishment would help get Britain out of lockdown and “back on her feet”.
He said teams across the country toiled tirelessly to make sure the goal was met adding the dramatic increase was “crucial to suppress the virus”, and will help the nation win the battle against the disease.
Mr Hancock said: “I knew that it was an audacious goal but we needed an audacious goal because testing is so important for getting Britain back on her feet. I can announce that we have met our goal. The number of tests yesterday, on the last day of April, was 122,347.
“This unprecedented expansion in British testing capability is an incredible achievement – but it is not my achievement, it is a national achievement.”
Across the country, 49 drive-through sites are open while 96 mobile units tour the nation.
Mr Hancock’s total also includes home test kits, which were counted when they were dispatched.
He said the increase in capacity would “help every single person in this country”.
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