A source with direct knowledge of a government serological survey said that about one in four of India’s 1.35 billion people may have been infected with the deadly coronavirus, suggesting the real caseload of the country that was many times higher than reported.
Around 10.8 million COVID-19 infections have been confirmed in India, the most anywhere outside the United States. The survey has found that India’s actual cases may have crossed 300 million.
The state-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which conducted the survey, said it would only share the findings at a news conference on Thursday.
However, how many people participated in the latest survey that is not immediately clear.
In August and September another survey was done using blood samples of more than 29,000 people older than 10. ICMR had concluded that one in 15 Indians had COVID-19 antibodies.
The figure raised to one in six in densely-populated urban slums.
A survey released by the government of the capital New Delhi this week found that more than half of its 20 million population may have been infected with the Covid-19.
Separate tests done on more than 700,000 people across India by Diagnostics Company Thyrocare Technologies showed 55% of the population may have already been infected, it’s chief told Reuters last week.
At least 60% to 70% of a population needs to have immunity to break the chain of transmission says the World Health Organization.
On Wednesday, India reported 11,039 new cases following the death toll that mounted to 154,596 with 110 new cases.
Infections and fatalities have come down significantly since a mid-September peak of nearly 100,000 a day.
India’s vaccination drive, advertised by the government as the world’s biggest, has covered more than 4 million people in 18 days, with the aim to reach 300 million by August.