95% of the population could still be susceptible to the COVID-19 virus, according to the latest scientific date published by the Department of Health.
The ‘R’ value is currently estimated between 0.5 – 0.9, but the Department has said that ‘the ‘R’ is not the only factor which will influence decisions about social distancing and other restrictions’.
The current data shows that;
- The number of individuals in the community who are currently infected with COVID-19 (the prevalence) is estimated at between 300 and 2000, which equates approximately to between one person in 950 and one in 6300.
- The large range for number infected in mainly due to uncertainty about the percentage of patients with COVID who are asymptomatic.
- Preliminary results from serology (antibody measurement) studies indicated that less than 5% of the population have recovered from COVID-19 and have detectable antibodies, in line with estimates from modelling.
With over 95% of the population remaining susceptible to COVID-19 according to the Department, the data suggests ‘any subsequent waves of the epidemic have the potential to be significantly worse than first’.
The report also sats that the ‘R’ value become less reliable and less useful at very low levels of infections.