16th April 2021
As the UK finally moves away from the strictest lockdown measures, we reflect on some of the key news stories this week concerning Coronavirus, with reactions and insights from Private Harley Street Clinic Founder Dr. Mark Ali. Dr Ali is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon with a degree in Immunology and Molecular Biology.
- This week, a Dutch travel company is taking a group of tourists to a Greek Island to see if tourism is feasible during the coronavirus pandemic. "Initiatives like this show that it's perfectly safe to travel as long as there is proper testing in place to provide safe surveillance," commented Dr. Ali. "I think that we will see more regular surveillance testing with lateral flow tests at holiday destinations, however, I do feel that PCR testing will remain the gold standard for return and entry to countries."
With non-essential retail and other businesses re-opening this week for the first time in months, Dr Mark Ali discusses the importance of point of care testing in the workplace in the latest episode of our video interview series.
- Dr Ali's comments were also featured this week in a Daily Telegraph article, telling their readers about the various kinds of tests on the market for travel testing.
- In other news, first dose vaccination numbers passed 40 million in the UK this week, and Sky News reported that the Office for National Statistics estimates that just over half of the population of England have Covid-19 antibodies, suggesting that they have either had the infection in the past or have been vaccinated. Figures for Wales and Scotland were slightly lower. Dr. Ali, commented on the latest statistics, saying, "This is what I would expect given the very high vaccination rate, as well as high prevalence of previously infected individuals. It therefore means that we are nearing herd immunity to the present strains of the virus".
- Back in the news, new research published this week suggests that people over 80 had a "very encouraging" antibody response after one dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines. The vaccines are thought to have saved more than 10,000 lives in the UK. Dr. Ali reacted to the study, commenting "The most interesting statistic is that 600 times more antibodies were found in those who had been infected before; this makes sense, as the body was already primed to generate a rapid and robust response from the previous infection".