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90% of people in Delhi have antibodies against Covid-19, says sero survey

More than 90 per cent of people in India’s capital city have developed antibodies against the coronavirus, according to a latest serological survey.

A Delhi government official told the media: “We have found Covid antibodies in more than 90 per cent of the samples collected during the sixth round of the survey.” However, the official cautioned that “we cannot say Delhi has achieved herd immunity despite such a high level of seroprevalence.”

Experts say this high level of seroprevalence indicates that Delhi might not suffer any devastating Covid waves anytime soon. But it all depends on whether any other variant of the virus emerges in the city, they cautioned.

India witnessed a deadly second Covid wave in April and May this year and hospitals in Delhi faced a severe shortage of oxygen cylinders and ICU beds.

The sixth serological survey was started on 24 September in Delhi. According to government data, a total of 28,000 samples were collected in all 280 wards in the capital.

The government official told the media that more women in Delhi had Covid-19 antibodies as compared to the men.

In each district in the city, the seropositivity rate is more than 95 per cent, the government announced.

Delhi health minister, Satyendra Jain told reporters: “Those aged below 18 had a seropositivity rate of 88 per cent, while those aged above 18 had a seropositivity rate of 97 to 98 per cent.”

This was the largest sero survey conducted in the city so far, Mr Jain said.

The people who have been vaccinated had a seropositivity rate of over 97 per cent, it was reported, while those who have not been inoculated had a seropositivity rate of 90 per cent, Mr Jain said.

The last sero survey was conducted in Delhi way before the second wave hit the country. The fifth round of sero survey was conducted in January and the results showed that only 56.13 per cent of the people in Delhi had developed Covid-19 antibodies.

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 cases have remained under 100 in Delhi since August and officials have said that the average positivity rate has stayed below 0.1 per cent.

Earlier this year, in May and April, Delhi recorded around 750,000 cases and 13,000 Covid-19 deaths.