Prof. Mark Woolhouse, a UK government science adviser, said in an interview with the BBC that coronavirus lockdowns would only’ ‘defer the problem” rather than solve it. He also opined that it is ”doubtful” there will be a widely available vaccine in the next half a year.
According to prof. Woolhouse, who sits on the Government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group, a third wave of infections next year, is “entirely possible.” In his view, we will have to live with the virus until a vaccine or rapid testing is available.
Despite the reassurance of the pharmaceutical companies working on a Covid-19 vaccine that it will be ready by March, prof. Woolhouse opined it would not be available for mass roll out in the next six months.
Prof. Woolhouse also commented on a potential second national lockdown in the United Kingdom. According to him, a lockdown could only reduce the transmissions quickly, but it would not solve the health crisis in the long term. It would not make the virus disappear.
The United States is still the worst-affected country, having more than 7.1 million positive cases and at least 204,778 deaths, according to John Hopkins data. California has the most cases nationwide – 809,000, followed by Texas and Florida, with 758,000 and 700,000 cases, respectively.
Despite those figures, a study by the University of Stanford and Ascend Clinical Laboratory showed that less than 10% of the Americans have antibodies to the novel virus.
Researchers analyzed the blood plasma samples from 28,500 randomly selected dialysis patients who used one of the Ascend laboratory’s 1,300 branches nationwide. It turned out that no more than 8% of the patients had developed antibodies. Adjusting data for the general population, the researchers estimated that about 9.3% of the Americans have antibodies.
The prevalence rate changed for the different parts of the nation. For instance, it ranged from 3.5% in the West to 27.2% in the Northwest.
The researchers also found out that about 16% of those living in predominantly black neighborhoods have antibodies. The percentage is lower for the areas with Hispanic population – only 11% of them had antibodies. As for the white communities, only 4% of them had antibodies.
The findings come a week after Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC director, warned that most Americans are likely to remain vulnerable to the novel virus.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the statement that the lockdown would defer but not solve the problem?