It is estimated that 38.5 million people, or 70.7 per cent of the population, have had at least one infection with the Covid-19 virus in Britain since the end of April 2020. The figures come from the UK Office of National Statistics and have been transmitted by the government.
These are tough numbers, but there is a large margin of error. According to Belgian experts, many cases were not included in the statistics, because over time many people stopped being tested.
The record holder had been infected with corona for 505 days
The most striking figure from Britain comes from a Briton who has tested positive for 505 days, or about a year and a half. As far as is known, this is the longest-running case of corona in Great Britain. The patient eventually died.
Virologist Stephen van Gucht cannot say whether we have such a long infection with corona because there are no figures for it. Says the virologist, who no longer works full time with Covid-19 for the first time in a long time, but also has rabies and hepatitis in children.
“Most people who have contracted the virus outgrow the infection naturally. Patients who carry the virus for a long time usually have a malfunctioning immune system, for example due to cancer treatment.”
Six times positive
There are currently an average of 6,011 new infections per day. According to Sciensano, the vast majority of them, about 90 percent, have tested positive for corona for the first time. When the same patient performs a second positive test at least 90 days after a previous positive test, it is defined as reinfection. But there is no doubt about a wave of re-infection.
According to Van Gucht, in the past 10 weeks, about 9% of cases (667) had a second infection and 0.2% (15) a third infection. Although it could be worse. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 39 Belgians have contracted the virus four times, and two people have been infected five times.
The absolute record was set by a Belgian who tested positive no less than six times. Sciensano notes that the numbers are based on official tests. The actual number of (re)infection will be much higher. “It is very likely that people have already had it once and now they only have mild symptoms and will not be retested,” says the virologist.
“Just hear in your environment how few people have any idea where the infection is. Research shows that at least two out of three people who have been infected in Belgium have no idea how they got it,” says Van Gucht.