Islamabad, Aug 21 (IANS) Almost 11 per cent of Pakistanis have developed protective immunity against the novel coronavirus, according to a study conducted in 25 cities across the country.
The “National Seroprevalence Study” was initiated in July this year by the Health Services Academy in collaboration with multiple partners, including Aga Khan University, and with technical support from the World Health Organization (WHO), Dawn news reported on Friday.
It is part of the WHO Unity Study being conducted simultaneously in 25 other countries, the Ministry of National Health Services said in a statement on Thursday.
The study revealed that the population of urban areas and people up to middle age are more protected against the disease.
However, population in rural areas and senior citizens are at highest risk from a possible second wave of the deadly virus.
The virus was more common in young adults and significantly less in children and older people.
It was also found out that areas with lower immunity rates may be at higher risk for future outbreaks.
Speaking to Dawn news, microbiologist Professor Javed Usman said detection of antibodies in 11 per cent of the population was much less than his expectations as it meant that Pakistan was still far away from the concept of herd immunity.
He said that the ratio of antibodies also depended on the sensitivity of testing, but 89 per cent were still vulnerable to the deadly virus, which has so far infected a total of 291,588 people in Pakistan and killed 6,219 others.