New studies suggest a third of healthy people who do not show any symptoms of Covid-19 could have developed a level of immunity to the virus.
The potential breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus also reveals that densely-populated areas of the UK may be closer to herd immunity than first thought.
Scientists who conducted new research placed less emphasis on basic antibodies that have been used previously to detect traces of immunity, the Express reports.
The reliance on antibodies is said to influenced previous attempts to measure immunity in the public. However, a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden believes immunity levels are much higher than first anticipated.
Experts from Sweden, the only country not to enter lockdown, calculate immunity levels are twice as high than originally stated.
Their data examines levels of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that aids the immune system.
Marcus Buggert, assistant professor at Karolinska Institutet, believes that initial immunity figures are a miscalculation.
The professor said: “What this means is we are probably underestimating the number of people that have some type of immunity. If it means that these individuals are totally protected, or if they’re going to get a milder or asymptomatic disease in the future. It’s hard to say.”
Whilst study co-author Prof Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren added that the research was ‘very good news from a public health perspective.”
The UK Government revealed that the daily fatalities have dropped 10 per cent in a week.
Professor Carl Heneghan, director of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, said: “It means we are at the end of the first wave of excess deaths and we are now back to normal.”