Head of a leading privately held laboratory says at least one in every four Indians might have the novel coronavirus, which is a much higher rate than the official government data shows.
Speaking to Reuters news agency, Dr. A. Velumani, head of a leading private laboratory called Thyrocare said, an analysis for 270,000 antibodies from across India showed almost 26% of the pack on an average has the novel coronavirus antibodies.
The presence of antibodies states that at some point in time the person has been exposed to the virus. Dr. Velumani said the antibody was uniformly present on people of all age groups, including children.
The laboratory survey covers 600 cities across India, for the time-frame of the last seven weeks. As per Dr. Velumani, if this trend continues, by December end, India will have a 40% concentration of COVID-19 infected in the country.
Thyrocare’s findings come after a similar survey released at the end of last month found almost half of the residents in three major slums of Mumbai had COVID-19 antibodies.
Although the scientists behind the Mumbai survey said their findings necessarily did not reflect the infection status of entire Mumbai – one of the worst-hit Indian cities – they acknowledged the actual scenario of Mumbai at large may not be far away.
This is not the first time a survey on the antibody test reflected unexpected results. A similar alarm was sounded in the US by the CDC as well.
The Center for Disease Control said 10X number of people in the US might have the novel coronavirus than what the official govt. data shows.
Health experts claim, the sheer number of asymptomatic variants of the infection, and comparatively lower testing and tracing in many countries is keeping the COVID-19 number lower than it should ideally be.
India’s coronavirus caseload is the third highest in the world, with nearly 2.9 million cases to date. Every single day on a rough average, more than 50k new cases have been surfacing for the last week in a row.