Delhi is moving towards herd immunity from coronavirus, with 50 to 60 per cent of people in one district having developed antibodies to the virus, the latest round of sero-survey has found, sources said. Herd immunity is what the authorities are trying to achieve with the vaccination programme, in which a critical mass of immune people can stop the spread of the virus by breaking the chain of transmission.
Delhi has a population of more than two crore, spread across 11 districts. For the current survey -- conducted by the Delhi government in association with the National Centre for Disease Control -- scientists had collected the samples of over 28,000 people from various districts across the city.
Official figures from the health ministry say only 6.33 lakh people have been found infected in Delhi. But the survey indicates that the total figure could be more than 1 crore, sources said.
In one district, the number of the infected people was around 60 per cent. In the rest of the city's 10 districts, the average is above 50 per cent --- close to the magic figure required.
In the first sero-survey -- conducted between June 27 and July 10 -- the researchers used 21,387 samples and found that around 23 per cent of the people were exposed to the virus.
In August, the figure went up to 29.1 per cent. In September, the figure was 25.1 per cent and it was 25.5 per cent the following month.
Delhi logged 148 new cases of COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours -- the fourth time the daily surge figure stood below the 200 mark in January.
The total number of infected people in the national capital has crossed 6.34 lakh. The number of fatalities touched 10,813 with five new deaths on Monday.