Health officials announced a positive development in the UK’s battle against Covid-19 on Friday, as new statistics revealed that almost three million people in England have developed coronavirus antibodies.

The fresh analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that, if everyone in the country was tested, around one in every 17 people in England would have antibodies for the virus that has claimed over 40,000 lives in the UK, according to official figures.

The latest household infection survey suggests that about 2.7 million people in England have developed some degree of immunity to Covid-19. This represents around 6 percent of the population.

The data also found that an average of 2,000 people per day were estimated to be newly infected with Covid-19 between August 19 and 25 – the latest date for which there are figures. This is broadly in line with previous weeks’ stats.

The fresh ONS data comes just one day after a new study found that antibody testing may be underestimating the number of people previously infected by the virus. The research, published in the British Medical Journal, said that large-scale surveys may not capture all those who have developed an immune response to the disease.

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