Tokyo, March 30 (Jiji Press)–Only 1.35 pct of people in Tokyo tested positive for antibodies against the novel coronavirus, the final report of a test conducted by the Japanese health ministry showed Tuesday.
The antibody test, the second of its kind, was carried out between Dec. 14 and 26 last year, covering residents with consent in five of the country’s 47 prefectures.
The rate in Tokyo increased 13.5-fold from the level marked in the first survey, conducted in June 2020.
The latest possession rate stood at 0.69 pct in the western prefecture of Osaka, 0.71 pct in the central prefecture of Aichi, 0.14 pct in the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi and 0.42 pct in the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka.
“Although the rate is different among prefectures, it has been confirmed that many people still do not have antibodies,” the ministry said, pointing out that people in Japan are far from a state of “herd immunity,” in which most of the people are infected and have antibodies, and the epidemic has subsided.
The ministry recommended that basic infection prevention measures are continued.
The number of participants in the December antibody test came to 3,399 in Tokyo, 2,746 in Osaka, 2,960 in Aichi, 2,860 in Miyagi and 3,078 in Fukuoka.
The ministry released preliminary results of the latest test in February. It reviewed the testing method and conducted detailed examinations of the results to compile the final figures.
As of Dec. 7 last year, just before the test was conducted, the infection rate in Tokyo, calculated based on the cumulative number of infection cases, stood at 0.316 pct, about one-fourth of the possession rate. Also in the remaining four prefectures, the possession rate was two to four times higher than the infection rate, revealing that there are many people who are unaware of their infection.
In the June survey, 0.10 pct of people in Tokyo tested positive, while the rate for Osaka was 0.17 pct and that for Miyagi 0.03 pct.
Initially, the ministry defined those who tested positive for both reagents from two pharmaceutical companies as antibody carriers. The number of carriers increased from the preliminary figures after the ministry closely examined the protective effects of the detected antibodies.