According to the “National Seroprevalence Study” carried out in 25 major cities across Pakistan, around 11% of Pakistanis have developed protective immunity against the Coronavirus infection.
A seroprevalence study determines what percentage of the population has developed protective immunity (antibodies) against a specific disease based on serology (blood serum) specimens.
Health Services Academy launched this study in July in collaboration with Aga Khan University and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In an official statement, the Ministry of National Health Services said this study is a part of a bigger WHO Unity Study carried out in 25 countries simultaneously.
Population residing in urban areas has more seropositivity in comparison to those living in rural areas.
Middle-aged population has more seropositivity when compared against senior citizens, meaning the latter will be at increased risk in the case of the second wave of Coronavirus.
Over the course of the study, approximately 60% to 70% of the population were found to be wearing face masks in crowded places and practicing frequent hand washing, implying the significance and success of awareness campaigns launched by the government against the Coronavirus pandemic.
Lastly, the study calls for increased healthcare facilities to combat a second wave Coronavirus particularly in areas with lower seropositivity rates.
Dr. Javed Usman, professor of microbiology at Army Medical College Rawalpindi, has said that the National Seroprevalence Study has affirmed that Pakistan, at the moment, is far away from achieving herd immunity.
Pakistan will be closer to herd immunity once 50% of its population develops antibodies against the Coronavirus.
While expressing apprehension, Dr. Javed Usman said that 89% of the Pakistani population will be susceptible to the Coronavirus in the case of a second wave.