It cannot be said that Delhi has attained herd immunity despite the latest serological survey showing that 97 per cent people here have developed antibodies against COVID-19, experts said on Thursday and cautioned people to not let their guard down.
The sixth serological survey has showed that the national capital had a seropositivity rate of 97 per cent, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday. All districts were found to have a seroprevalence of over 95 per cent, he said.
Dr Pragya Sharma, professor at Maulana Azad Medical College's department of community medicine, who was involved in finalising the sero survey results, said herd immunity is achieved when we know what will be its cut-off.
We cannot say whether Delhi has attained herd immunity although 97 per cent people have antibodies against COVID-19, she said.
Explaining further, she said if the virus is the same variant or it does not undergo significant mutations, people of Delhi will be safe.
"Whatever variants would come, if there are no significant changes in the antigenic properties, this protection will stand," she added.
She said it is presumed that if the mutant virus, the cases of which have been detected on Maharashtra, comes to Delhi, it won't create a havoc like it did in April-May.
"People should not let their guard down. The more the virus passes through the population, the more it is likely to undergo mutations. It is a new and unpredictable virus," she added.
Dr Parinita Kaur, senior consultant - internal medicine, Aakash Healthcare in Dwarka, said the numbers (of the sero survey) are a welcome sign.
"Hardly any household was unaffected during the second wave in April-May. These numbers indicate that people have already been infected in large numbers. But we are in the middle of the festive season and people need to avoid crowding and get-togethers. Even last year, there was a surge in cases post Diwali. People need to be cautious," she added.
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