Thyrocare, a private diagnostic laboratory, stated that out of the 60,000 antibody tests across 600 pin codes that it conducted over 20 days, 15 percent tested positive for antibodies against COVID-19. Dr Arokiaswamy Velumani, Managing Director of Thyrocare shared the data on his Twitter account. He suggested that the virus is silently and quickly immunising.

According to Thyrocare’s data, the highest positivity rate for the antibody test was in Bhiwandi, Thane, at 47.1%. The lowest positivity rate was in Alibag in Maharashtra at 0.7%. Furthermore, their estimates showcase that nearly 15 percent of the country may already have antibodies against COVID-19. He added that they may have a variation of plus or minus 3 percent.

“We have not chosen whom to test; we have only tested those who wanted it. 80% was the requirement of the corporates, 15 percent was of residential societies and 5% was the demand of individuals. We covered pin codes from Nariman Point to Jamshedpur, so big and small cities are all covered,” Dr Velumani told The Quint. Thyrocare’s data isn’t a study.

What You Should Know

  • Thyrocare, a private diagnostic laboratory stated that out of the 60,000 antibody tests across 600 pin codes that it conducted over 20 days, 15 percent tested positive for antibodies against COVID-19.
  • Dr Arokiaswamy Velumani, Managing Director of Thyrocare shared the data on his Twitter account. He suggested that the virus is silently and quickly immunising.
  • Their estimates showcase that nearly 15 percent of the country may already have antibodies against COVID-19. However, Thyrocare’s data isn’t a study.
  • An antibody test is only used as a surveillance tool to examine the level of exposure.

Also Read: Ten Women Of Indian Origin Making Us Proud During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The findings emerged on July 17, on the same day that the government released the results of an antibody testing survey in Delhi. The survey also showcased that 23.48% of the participants developed Immunoglobulin G antibodies. Hence, the development indicates that they may have been infected by COVID-19. The study also observed that a large number of those infected were asymptomatic.

Thyrocare is one of the private laboratories listed by the government to perform antibody tests. The laboratory utilised Elisa (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and Chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) antibody tests to arrive at the conclusion. Furthermore, an antibody test is only used as a surveillance tool to examine the level of exposure. Hence, it cannot be used for diagnosis.

Findings Shouldn’t Be Generalised

“ICMR [Indian Council of Medical Research] has conducted around 20,000 tests. However, the numbers are too low to generalise. I don’t know if most representative areas are covered and population heterogeneity is also a factor. The list of areas seems to focus on urban or semi-urban areas. We cannot generalise such findings for rural areas,” Amit Singh, associate professor at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research, IISc, Bengaluru, told Hindustan Times.

Also Read: Russian University Completes Trials Of World’s First COVID-19 Vaccine

Ria Chakraborty is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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