Japan’s health ministry has found that about 40 percent of people nationwide as of last month had a type of coronavirus antibody which can only be acquired through infection, local media reported on Friday.
According to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, the health ministry found the antibody in 42.3 percent of the blood samples taken from 13,121 individuals between 16 and 69 in late February.
The figure was up approximately 14 percentage points from the previous survey in November when the nation was hit by the eighth wave of infections.
By age group, people aged 16 to 19 had the highest ratio at 62.2 percent, while the figure was as low as 28.3 percent among those in their 60s.
Japan’s antibody prevalence rate remains lower than those of other Western countries, Takaji Wakita, director-general of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) and chair of the health ministry’s advisory panel, was quoted as saying.
There is a need to continue tracking relevant data as Japan’s relatively low figure could affect its future infection situation, the expert added.