India study suggests millions more may have caught coronavirus
New Delhi, Aug 20, 2020 -More than a quarter of New Delhi’s 20 million residents may have caught the novel coronavirus without showing symptoms, a study released Thursday indicated, raising fresh doubts about India’s official case numbers.
Extrapolated, the antibody study on 15,000 residents means 5.8 million people in the bustling capital could have caught the virus — more than 37 times the official tally of 156,139 infections.
India is already officially the third worst-hit country after the US and Brazil, and the health ministry reported a record daily jump of 69,652 new infections on Wednesday — taking the total to 2.84 million.
On Thursday, Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain said blood tests on 15,000 residents conducted earlier this month found 29.1 percent of them had virus antibodies.
Scientists say, however, that antibody tests should be treated with caution because they also pick up other coronaviruses, not just the latest COVID-19.
A similar survey in June-July said 23 percent of people tested had been exposed to the virus in the city.