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WHO Says 'lower Than Expected' People Have Developed COVID-19 Immunity

The WHO has warned that early results some of the surveys for coronavirus have revealed very few people have developed antibodies against the disease.


During a media briefing on April 20, the World Health Organisation has warned that early results of some of the surveys for coronavirus have revealed very few people have developed antibodies against the disease. The development of antibodies among people was seen as the most definite hope for countries around the world to start easing lockdown. Now even though the number of people who contracted COVID-19 disease is higher, antibodies were found only in 2-3 per cent of them, which can imply that a very small percentage of people might actually be infected. Doctors had presumed that herd immunity to the fatal pathogen would ease the transition from lockdown to normalcy, but WHO has clarified that a low number of people have developed resistance to the disease. 

WHO chief, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Early data from some of these studies suggest that a relatively small percentage of the population may have been infected, even in heavily affected areas – not more than 2 to 3 per cent.”

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WHO’s the technical lead on COVID-19, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove has said that they had initially thought these numbers would be higher. However, she stressed that it still remains “too early” to declare what the findings imply. She had said in the briefing that, “Initially, we see a lower proportion of people with antibodies than we were expecting, a lower number of people are infected.”

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‘Lockdowns cannot end the pandemic’

The WHO head also made it clear that even though major countries across the globe are issuing lockdown, “they cannot end the pandemic alone”. According to Tedros, they can soften the blow on the country’s outbreak of coronavirus, by leaders shall not be dependent on them to end the health crisis. The most effective way to combat the COVID-19 outbreak is to ramp-up testing, isolate the patients, and then tracing its contacts. 

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Image Source: AP

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