One in five healthy Moscow residents has coronavirus antibodies, suggesting they have been infected and could be immune for a period of time, the Russian capital’s deputy mayor said Friday.
Anastasia Rakova said that more than 90,000 Muscovites had been tested from June 5-18 as part of the citywide testing program’s third stage.
“We can say that herd immunity continues to form and about 20% of Muscovites currently have such immunity,” Rakova said.
She noted a 2.5% increase in the presence of antibodies from the city’s previous studies.
City officials say they plan to test 6 million people, or around half of Moscow’s total population, for antibodies.
National health officials said earlier in June that one in seven Russians, or around 14%, tested for Covid-19 have developed immunity to the virus. The percentage of immune cases among minors under 17 years old totaled almost 20%.
Moscow’s mayor has previously suggested that up to 2.5% of the city’s residents, or nearly 300,000 people, may have been infected with Covid-19.
A recent study conducted in China has said that the antibodies may fade within two months of infection and suggested that asymptomatic people have weaker immune responses to infection.
Experts also warn that the presence of antibodies doesn’t necessarily confer total immunity to the coronavirus.
Russia has confirmed more than 620,000 coronavirus infections as of Friday, the world’s third-highest caseload. Moscow, which accounts for more than one-third of Russia’s cases, began to gradually emerge from lockdown this month.
Almost 8,800 people have died nationwide, the lowest death toll among countries with similarly high numbers of Covid-19 cases.