Italy’s coronavirus epicenter nears “herd immunity” as more than half of people tested show antibodies

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The northern Italy city of Bergamo, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak and the hardest hit region in the country, is nearing “herd immunity” after more than half of its residents tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

A new study conducted by Italy’s National Institute of Statistics revealed that 57% of 10,000 Bergamo residents who had blood tests performed between April 23 and June 3 had antibodies for COVID-19.

These findings suggest that nearly two-thirds of the population may be resistant to the virus, indicating possible herd immunity.

Health authorities said the results of the antibody tests were based on random samples from some of the city’s worst-hit areas. They believe those tested are a reliable indicator of how many people had been infected.

With more than 235,000 positive coronavirus cases and more than 34,000 deaths, Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries.