LONDON, June 24 (Xinhua) -- More than 2 million people in England may have had long COVID-19, data from a British research showed Thursday.
The Imperial College London's REACT-2 (REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission) study showed that more than one third of people who had COVID-19 reported symptoms, such as tiredness and muscle aches or shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and chest pain, lasting for at least 12 weeks.
The findings are based on data from 508,707 adults who took part in the study between September 2020 and February this year.
It was noted, however, that the study was based on people reporting their own symptoms and it might over-estimate the prevalence of long COVID-19 because many of the symptoms are common and not unique to coronavirus.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT program, said in a statement: "Our findings do paint a concerning picture of the longer-term health consequences of COVID-19, which need to be accounted for in policy and planning."
"Long COVID-19 is still poorly understood but we hope through our research that we can contribute to better identification and management of this condition, which our data and others' suggest may ultimately affect millions of people in the UK alone."
Britain has reported another 16,135 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, the highest since early February, according to the latest official figures released Wednesday. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country stood at 4,667,870.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a four-week delay to the final step of England's roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions until July 19, amid a surge in cases of the Delta variant first identified in India.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.