70% people in 8 populous states have COVID antibodies: Sero-survey

At least 71 per cent of Uttar Pradesh’s 220 million people, the highest in the country, had antibodies against the virus

India in April and May witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases, leading to a devastating second wave of the pandemic. Representative photo

A government seroprevalence survey has found that more than 70 per cent of people in India’s eight most-populated states have anti-bodies against COVID-19, hinting that more people could have been affected in the second wave of the pandemic than reported.

The survey, conducted in June and July, had tested around 29,000 people across the country. It found that two-thirds of the population in eight of the country’s biggest states had antibodies against COVID-19.

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At least 71 per cent of Uttar Pradesh’s 220 million people, the highest in the country, had antibodies against the virus.

In Madhya Pradesh, 79 per cent of the total 70.3 million population had antibodies against COVID, while 75 per cent of Bihar’s population was found with antibodies.

India in April and May witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases, leading to a devastating second wave of the pandemic. Daily cases, which crossed the 4 lakh-mark during the peak of the pandemic in May, however, have fallen in the past few days, with Wednesday reporting 43,654 new infections and 640 deaths.

The vaccination drive initiated by the government has also gathered pace with a total of 440 million Indians being inoculated with at least one shot of the vaccine as of Wednesday. Experts say, the government, however, may not be able to reach its goal of vaccinating 950 million Indians by the end of the year.

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