Coronavirus antibody study suggests 1.2million Londoners may have already caught it – Mirror Online



A million Londoners could have already had coronavirus after a new study found one eighth of its population may test positive for antibodies.

It is hoped this is a sign that a high level of immunity is holding off a second wave in the capital where the daily case rate remains stable despite surges elsewhere.

Blood donors from London – where almost 9 million people currently live – had a prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies as high as 13.4 percent, amounting to more than 1.2million people, according to Public Health England data.

This dwarfs the North East and Yorkshire, which have a 3.9 per cent prevalence and the South West with 3.5 per cent in comparison, reports The Sun.

One million London residents may have already had the virus (Image: PA)

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Much of the North West, where local lockdowns are restricting contact, meanwhile, is around 6.8, the figures show.

In March, when the pandemic was at its peak in the UK, antibody prevalence in London was 17.5 percent – a fifth of the city’s population.

However, Professor Susan Hopkins, of PHE, has previously stated experts “don’t know if you can get it again” or how long immunity would last.

It is unclear why Londoners appear to have a much higher antibody prevalence (Image: Getty Images)

Though others, including Jon Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Infectious Diseases at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, believe once a person has had the virus they likely can’t contract it a second time.

The ‘R’ rate is below one in London, though sits as high as 1.37 in the North West and 1.16 nationally, showing the distinct divide – but cases are still rising in the capital, regardless.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out new measures to try to contain a growing coronavirus crisis later today, outlining three new alert levels to better coordinate the government’s under-fire response.

Boris Johnson is set to announce a three-tier lockdown system on Monday (Image: Philip Coburn)

Despite No10 not yet having clarified which areas will be placed in the toughest bracket, leaders in Liverpool have claimed ministers have informed them they will be in the third tier.

A letter signed by various local politicians states Downing Street has decided “pubs and bars, betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres, and gyms will close” – putting the area back into a strict lockdown.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has warned further restrictions are “inevitable” in the city following discussions with Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Speaking on LBC radio, he said any restrictions would be London-wide rather than by boroughs – describing the approach as “one London”.

He warned the city is at “a very serious tipping point”.

When the virus arrived in the UK, London was initially the country’s epicentre but in the following months the spread has been curbed there.