New Delhi: The results of a serological survey conducted between August and September, which came out on Wednesday, reveal that almost 33% of Delhi residents have developed Covid-19 antibodies.Also Read - Mumbai Local Train Latest Update: Restrictions Likely to be Lifted For Fully Vaccinated Passengers Soon, Say Reports | Key Points

The survey implies that 66 lakh people out of the two crore residents in Delhi may have been exposed to the virus and are now the carrier of antibodies. Also Read - Delta Variant of COVID 'Fittest And Fastest', Infecting Fully-Vaccinated People: Experts

This figure has been released after the preliminary analysis of the third survey of 17,000 samples. The final figures are yet to be released officially. Also Read - BREAKING: Fire Breaks Out at Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi, 4 Fire Tenders at Spot

While 15,000 samples were collected for the second survey, over 21,000 samples were gathered in the first one.

“The report has been submitted to the health department and it is currently being reviewed. The final report could have minor variations in the final seroprevalence since data from some wards are also being re-checked,” a senior government official told The Hindustan Times.

This is also the highest seroprevalence since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The figure rose from 29.1% in the second survey conducted in the first week of August. The first serological study had found that 23.4% of people were carrying antibodies.

The third report of the survey said that the samples taken from containment zones in Delhi had a “significantly higher seroprevalence” than those who had never lived in one.

“A sero survey is necessary to find out the true burden of the infection in the city or state. More importantly, it helps identify the number of asymptomatic people who had the disease and recovered from it. Such people, in most cases, are not even aware that they are infected,” Dr Lalit Kant, former head of epidemiology and infectious disease at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said.

Meanwhile, Delhi reported 4,473 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Total tests conducted were 62,553, while positivity rate stood at 7.15. The death rate has been at 0.7% from the last 10 days. The bed availability here is 14,521 out of which 50% are occupied, said Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.

When asked about the rising number of cases in Delhi, he replied, “We have increased COVID-19 testing four times due to which numbers are likely to rise in Delhi for 10-15 days. This will help in isolating the positive cases and have a positive impact on the national capital”.