COVID-19 infected people in the Indian capital New Delhi could be much more than previously anticipated. A study conducted by the Union Ministry of Health showed that 23.48% of the population in densely-populated Delhi have developed antibodies for COVID-19 infections.
Data was revealed by a sero-surveillance study by the National Centre for Disease Control in collaboration with the Delhi state government between June 27 and July 10 to detect the trend of COVID-19 infections.
“The study also indicates that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic,” the ministry said in a statement.
A statement from the ministry confirmed blood samples from 21,387 residents were collected and COVID ELISA [Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays] tests were conducted. “It is one of the largest sero-prevalence studies conducted in the country using the ELISA testing,” the ministry confirmed.
A sero-survey involves testing of blood serum of individuals to check for the prevalence of antibodies against infection. “The results of the seroprevalence study imply that nearly six months into the epidemic, only 22.86% of the people are affected in Delhi, which has several pockets of dense population,” said Rajesh Bhushan, an officer on special duty in the health ministry.
The government is now set to conduct similar surveillance in other states, including second worst-affected southern Tamil Nadu.
The number of cases in India reached 1,192,915, with 37,742 daily cases. It reported 648 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing total fatalities to 28,732, according to health authorities. Total recoveries have passed 700,000 as the recovery rate improved to 62.72%.