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Delhi inches towards ‘herd immunity’ against Covid-19 as 56% developed antibodies

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Delhi inches towards ‘herd immunity’ against Covid-19 as 56% developed antibodies

New Delhi: With every one in two residents of Delhi being exposed to the deadly coronavirus and developed antibodies for the infection, it seems like the city is heading towards ‘herd immunity’ as majority of the population has seemingly become immune to it, which apparently reflected in less positive cases, according to Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who also warned people not to let their guard down. The report was made based on the fifth serological survey in the capital.

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“In the fifth sero survey done in the national capital of Delhi, antibodies have been detected in 56.13% of the population. This was the largest survey in any state involving around 28,000 samples conducted from January 15 to 23,” Mr Jain said.

Meanwhile, district of North Delhi had the lowest seroprevalence, the number of people found with antibodies, at 49 %, whereas southeast district had the highest at 62.18%.

“The last survey found 25-26% seroprevalence. This means Delhi is inching towards herd immunity. Cases are also declining at less than 200 per day and low positivity rates. But I would appeal not let your guard down. Keep your masks on,” the minister said.

Furthermore, after eight months of constant high figures of corona cases, India on Tuesday morning recorded the lowest single-day rise with 8,635 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, as per the government data.

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The country reported its first case in late January last year and until April 2020 cases remained low but as May approached a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases was registered which further increased by mid-September to close to 1 lakh daily cases. However, since then, the infection rate has slowed significantly.

As per reports, India has around 1.6 lakh active COVID-19 patients, the lowest since June 2020. Till now, 1.07 crore infections and 1.54 lakh deaths, one of the world’s lowest fatality rates, have been registered in the country, attributed partly to its relatively young population.

India also recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States and, with the likely true rate of infection even higher. Based on these data, some experts believe pockets of India have attained herd immunity through natural infection.

India has also launched world’s largest vaccination programme against Coronavirus on January 16, with an aim to inoculate nearly 30 crore frontline healthcare workers in its first phase that is by July-August. In the first two weeks of this ambitious campaign, India has administered vaccine to  around 39 lakh healthcare workers.

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