A survey conducted last December has found that 0.91% of people tested in Tokyo had coronavirus antibodies, up from 0.10% six months before, the health ministry said Friday.
The rate of antibody detection rose from 0.17% to 0.58% in Osaka Prefecture and from 0.03% to 0.14% in Miyagi Prefecture.
In Aichi and Fukuoka prefectures, where the survey was conducted for the first time, the detection rate stood at 0.54% and 0.19%, respectively.
“While the rate varies by prefecture, they are all below 1%,” health minister Norihisa Tamura said at a news conference. This means that herd immunity has not been achieved and it is necessary to keep antivirus measures in place, he said.
The survey took place on Dec. 14-25, covering 3,399 people in Tokyo, 2,746 people in Osaka, 2,960 people in Aichi, 2,860 people in Miyagi and 3,078 people in Fukuoka.
When an infection occurs, an antibody, or a special type of protein, is formed in the body against the virus. An antibody test examines whether a person develops immunity as some 80% of coronavirus carriers have mild or no symptoms.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.
Your news needs your support
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.