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Delhi on cusp of herd immunity as 56% citizens have antibodies against virus

Delhi moving towards 'herd immunity' against covid-19. (Photo credit: The Economic Times)

The latest sero survey carried out in the national capital of Delhi shows that over 56% per cent of the city's 2 crore population has developed antibodies against coronavirus bringing it close to herd immunity.

"In the fifth sero survey done in the national capital of Delhi, antibodies have been detected in 56.13 per cent of the population. This was the largest survey in any state involving around 28,000 samples conducted from January 15 to 23," Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Tuesday.

As a part of the survey, blood samples of people of different age groups were collected.

"The data suggested that the city of 2 crore is heading towards herd immunity – when the majority of the population becomes immune to a disease, slowing its spread – but people should not let their guard down, " Jain explianed.

The percentage of people that have been exposed to coronavirus and developed antibodies against the disease varies in different parts of Delhi. The city's north district had the lowest number of people found with antibodies at 49%. The southeast district had the highest at 62.18%.

"The last survey had found 25-26 per cent seroprevalence. This means Delhi is inching towards herd immunity. The number cases are also declining at less than 200 per day along with low positivity rates. But I would appeal to you all to not let your guard down. Keep your masks on," he cautioned.

With 8,635 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, India recorded the lowest single-day rise in its tally in nearly eight months, the government data this morning showed.

India has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States.  Experts have also expressed the view that some regions in the country may have attained herd immunity through natural infection.

India started its immunisation programme on January 16, with healthcare workers and a target of reaching 30 crore people by July-August.

Over 39 lakh healthcare workers have already been vaccinated in the first two weeks of the campaign.