One in every four Indians may have antibodies to the novel coronavirus, according to tests done by a national-level private lab.
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Surveys done at the city level by various civic corporations and some of India’s best research organizations (TIFR, IISER) are more encouraging. According to tests performed by various cities, Pune on Monday reported over 50% seropositivity in pockets, Mumbai reported 57% positivity in slum areas. Delhi’s first survey showed 23% of those tested were seropositive. The results of a second survey are expected this week.
When an individual has antibodies, he/she has immunity to Covid-19, though the jury is still out on whether this is short- or long-term immunity. When many in the community have antibodies, it could lead to herd immunity.
India is still far away from herd immunity as 60-70% of the population should ideally have antibodies (or exposure to the virus) to achieve it. But some experts believe Indian localities, suburbs or cities could be closer to herd immunity than many of their global counterparts. For example, Dharavi in Mumbai has been recording near-zero (single-digit) transmission for the last two months after being the country’s worst hotspot in April-May.
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Source: Economic Times
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