(New Delhi) According to a government study released Tuesday, about two-thirds of India’s population may have been infected with COVID-19.
An Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) serology survey of approximately 29,000 people in June and July found that 67.6% of them had antibodies.
It shows the impact of the fatal spike in cases in April and May, when India reported about 400,000 cases and 4,000 deaths per day.
A similar study conducted in December-January found antibodies in less than 25% of those tested.
ICMR CEO Balram Bhargava said the study shows “there is a ray of light.” However, “we must beware of any complacency, we must maintain an appropriate attitude towards COVID-19,” he said Tuesday in New Delhi.
Hundreds of millions of Indians who lack antibodies are more susceptible to severe forms of the disease.
Only 13% of adults in the study were fully immunized.
India, with a population of 1.3 billion, has so far only vaccinated about 8% of eligible adults, raising fears of a new wave of infections as the country looses COVID-19 restrictions.
The official number of deaths associated with the virus is 418,480 in India, the third country hardest hit by the pandemic after the United States (609,000 deaths) and Brazil (544,000).
A US study published on Tuesday found that in fact, the number of people who have died from COVID-19 in India could be ten times the official number, making the pandemic the worst humanitarian tragedy in India since independence.
According to this study by the Center for Global Development, between the start of the pandemic last year and June this year, there are 3.4 to 4.7 million people, based on “excess deaths”, the current number of deaths and the number of deaths before the pandemic. …