A study released on Thursday showed that nearly a third of New Delhi residents were exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and developed antibodies, as India reported nearly 70,000 cases in a new single-day record.
New Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, told newsmen that samples of 15,000 residents were collected for the survey, which was conducted in the first week of August.
“29.1-per-cent prevalence of the virus has been found in the second serological survey. This means that 5.8 million people in the city had antibodies.
In the first survey in July, 23.48 per cent of Delhi’s population was found to have been exposed to the coronavirus.
The survey showed that infections in New Delhi were much more widespread than the number of confirmed cases indicated.
According to Delhi Government officials, the city recorded 151,904 cases, less than 1 per cent of its approximate population of 20 million.
The difference showed that a large number of infected persons were asymptomatic.
However, the number of new infections per day in the city was markedly lower than in previous months. High antibody prevalence could mark a step toward herd immunity.
“Scientists say that herd immunity is achieved when between 40 to 60 per cent of the population develops antibodies. Now, this is a survey from early August, maybe it takes one to two more months to find out,” Jain said.
Health experts are divided over herd immunity. However, while some said it was only a matter of time before populations develop herd immunity, sceptics said a vaccine was necessary to stop the virus.
Meanwhile, WHO had warned that the world was nowhere close to achieving herd immunity and only an effective vaccine could stop transmissions.
India’s coronavirus count has risen to over 2.8 million, with 69,652 cases in the last 24 hours, the biggest one-day rise so far. The death toll climbed to 53,866, with 977 new fatalities since Thursday.
India has the third-most cases globally, behind U.S. and Brazil and the fourth highest number of deaths behind U.S., Brazil and Mexico.(NAN)
– Aug. 20, 2020 @ 13:25 GMT |