For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic the daily reporting dashboard which records positive COVID cases in the UK has also included reinfections as part of the data, and it offers some food for thought.
Monday’s figure of 92,368 cases far exceeded Sunday’s 52,295 positive cases – the lowest figure since before Omicron peaked on 14th December last year – having made changes to the way that positive cases and COVID reinfections are registered in the UK.
While Wales have been classifying anyone who tests positive again more than 42 days after their first positive test as positive statistics when reporting COVID cases, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have never included such figures around reinfection rates.
We can see that in doing so, the figure of positive cases around the country almost doubled. So, what does this suggest?
What do the experts say on COVID reinfections?
When asked about the perception of COVID reinfection, and the issues that milder, but more contagious variants bring, Dr Al-Khafaji shares ‘It’s often hard to gauge the true number of people that are infected, especially with more mild variants such as Omicron circulating in the population, since many individuals will be asymptomatic. There is a clear perception out there that you can’t get it twice or they have full protection if they have completed their vaccinations, so some people despite being symptomatic, lean into this belief and opt to not re-test because they feel they are protected, when they could well be positive, and exposing their friends, families, and colleagues to infection.’
‘This could cause serious problems for organisations, particularly with infectivity increasing with newer and emerging variants.’
So amidst rising rates of reinfection, what is Dr Al-Khafaji’s advice for business owners?