A study conducted in Pune revealed that close to 85 per cent of people in Pune who had contracted the coronavirus have developed protective antibodies or they had acquired immunity from the disease. The finding came out as a result of a follow-up study of previous serosurvey conducted in July and August in five areas- comprising three or four municipal wards each of the city.
In Pune’s Lohia Nagar area, the zone with the highest disease prevalence, indicated that the incidence has fallen sharply in the last three months, which means that there may be population-level protection against the disease. Serosurveys estimate the wider prevalence rate, because not every infected person shows symptoms and gets tested.
Jacob John, the co-author of the study, said if the current level of public behaviour continued, a second wave, the kind the US and some European countries are currently experiencing, was unlikely to happen in Pune.
Pune has so far reported 3.44 lakh cases of coronavirus which is so far the third-highest for any city, after Delhi and Bengaluru. The city has also recorded over 7,200 coronavirus-related deaths, the maximum after Mumbai and Delhi.
The presence of antibodies indicates that the person had been infected with the disease at some point in time. A person is called immune from the virus when he/she develops what is called protective antibodies.
Many health experts say that the coronavirus pandemic can end by the natural process of herd immunity or by the development of a vaccine. Moreover, there have been exciting developments on the vaccine front, in the last two weeks, with Moderna and Pfizer announcing positive results for their vaccine.
This has also triggered hope around that the world, however, there are massive logistical concerns which countries like India have to deal with. Some of these vaccines, for instance, need to be stored and transported at very low temperatures, and the expensive technology for that is not readily available for a country like India.