One in five in Delhi has coronavirus antibodies: Study


A study commissioned by India’s health ministry revealed Tuesday that 23.48 percent of the people in Delhi have developed anti-bodies for the novel coronavirus six months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sero-surveillance study, by the National Centre for Disease Control in collaboration with the Delhi government, was conducted June 27 to July 10 in India’s capital city.

“The results of the sero-prevalence study show that on an average, across Delhi, the prevalence of IgG antibodies is 23.48 percent. The study also indicates that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic,” the ministry said in a statement.

It is one of the largest sero-prevalence studies conducted in India using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing.

For each of the 11 districts of Delhi, survey teams were formed, blood samples were collected from selected individuals after taking written informed consent and then their sera were tested for IgG antibodies and infection using ‘COVID KAVACH ELISA’ approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research.

As many as 21,387 samples were collected as per the lab standards and were tested. The tests helped in the identification of the presence of antibodies in the general population.

This test is not a diagnostic test, but only provides information about past infection due to SARSCoV-2 in individuals who test positive.

The ministry said the study showed low prevalence of antibodies.

“However, a significant proportion of the population is still vulnerable. Therefore, the containment measures need to continue with the same rigor. Non-pharmacological interventions such as physical distancing, use of face masks or cover, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and avoidance of crowded places, etc, must be followed strictly,” it added.