A boy watches as a health worker (L) collects a nasal swab from his mother in Mumbai on Wednesday. AFP
Dr A. Velumani said an analysis of 270,000 antibody tests conducted by his company Thyrocare across India showed the presence of antibodies in an average of 26% of the people, indicating they had already been exposed to the coronavirus.
"This is a much higher percentage than we had expected. The presence of antibodies is uniform across all age groups, including children," Velumani said.
A health worker collects a swab sample from a woman in Hyderabad. AFP
Thyrocare's findings are in line with government surveys done in Indian cities such as Mumbai, which showed that 57 per cent of the population in its crowded slum areas had been exposed to the coronavirus.
The Thyrocare survey covers paid and tested patients, covering 600 cities in India for the last seven weeks, Velumani added. If the current trend continues, the percentage of India's population having antibodies may reach 40% before the end of December.
India currently has a total of 2.8 million cases, third only behind Brazil and the United States globally, but active patients are less than a fourth of its total caseload, according to health ministry figures.
On Wednesday, the world's second-most populous country reported more than 64,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus in a single day, with more than 1,000 deaths in the same period.
Almost 30% of the population in India's capital of New Delhi likely have been infected by the novel coronavirus, according to a serological survey of 15,000 people conducted by the local government, a figure that indicates infection numbers are much higher than those recorded.
After playing 40 Tests for India, Chauhan switched to politics and was a minister in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh as a member of the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
The country, which has the fourth-highest tally of deaths globally, recorded 400,000 deaths by July 2021 after the devastating outbreak from the Delta variant of the coronavirus, according to official data. Some believe the figures were much higher.
The tally of confirmed infections is 10.96 million, the second highest after the United States, with more than 156,000 deaths. But actual infections could range as high as 300 million, a government serological survey showed this month.
Al Suhaimi's death caused a gloom among Saudis. Many of his fans on the X platform expressed their sadness over his death.
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In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) affirmed that the UAE expresses its strong condemnation of these criminal acts, and its permanent rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at undermining security and stability in contravention of human values and principles.
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