COVID-19: 57 Percent Slum Dwellers have Coronavirus Antibodies

Coronavirus antibodies develop only when a person has contracted the virus in the past.

Sohil Nikam

July 29, 2020

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A serological survey undertaken of 7,000 people in the city of Mumbai has found that one in six or about 16% of its residents had contracted COVID-19 in the past. Even more interesting is the fact that the percentage rose to 57% when only slum dwellers were tested. These are areas where lakhs of people stay in cramped conditions, often using community bathrooms. The serological surveillance study took samples in the first two weeks of this month to check the presence of antibodies for coronavirus.

Antibodies can develop only when a person has contracted the disease in the past. Not only do such studies indicate how far among the general population the disease has spread, but also whether or not the people are moving towards herd immunity. The study has found that a large number of infected people were asymptomatic. Conducted by the NITI Aayog, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, it has also found that the prevalence of coronavirus anti-bodies is marginally higher in women.

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