More than half of the people living in the slums of Mumbai have had the coronavirus, according to a study released on Tuesday raising fresh doubts over the number of infections in India.
India has confirmed 1.53 million infections, only behind United States’ 4.49 million and Brazil’s tally of 2.48 million.
Experts believe the lack of testing in India is the reason for such low numbers here.
Random bloods tests on 6,936 people randomly selected found that 57% of the slum-dwellers and 16 percent of non-slum residents had coronavirus antibodies.
Mumbai, where about 40 percent of the population lives in slums (8 million people), has reported over 110,882 infections and 6,187 deaths so far.
Mumbai home to nearly 20 million people has the world’s largest slum Dharavi, where an estimated one million people live.
But deaths in the sprawling slum have not exploded, with local officials saying their aggressive efforts to stem the spread of the virus has been effective.
The survey results suggested asymptomatic infections were “likely to be a high proportion of all infections” and also indicated the virus death rate was likely to be “very low”, the study said
Earlier an antibody study in the capital, New Delhi estimated that 25 percent, almost 4.65 million people had been exposed to coronavirus infection.