Madrid [Spain], May 14 (Sputnik/ANI): Approximately five per cent of the Spanish population has developed antibodies for COVID-19, according to preliminary findings of a large-scale study conducted by the country's Ministry of Health that were announced on Wednesday.
The first results of the study, which involved the testing of roughly 60,000 people across the entire country from late April, was conducted to ascertain the full scale of the outbreak in the European country.
Marina Pollan, director of Spain's National Center for Epidemiology at the Carlos III Health Institute, which is leading the study, confirmed that antibody prevalence among the sample was five per cent and, as a result, no level of herd immunity has been reached.
Health Minister Salvador Illa added that this would indicate that more than two million people had contracted the disease.
"The study shows that five per cent of the Spanish population had contact with the virus, a little over two million people," the health minister said at a press conference.
According to the study, more than 10 per cent of people in the cities of Madrid, Segovia, Cuenca, Soria, and Albacete have antibodies against the disease. In some regions of the country, less than one per cent of people tested have antibodies.
In total, 14.7 per cent of those who displayed more than five symptoms of COVID-19 and 43 per cent of those who complained of a loss of smell have antibodies, the study found. Antibodies were found in 2.5 per cent of asymptomatic participants.
Spain has become one of the epicentres of the global COVID-19 outbreak. According to data released by national health authorities, Spain has confirmed the fourth-highest number of cases, 228,691 in total, of any country in the world.
On Wednesday, a total of 439 new cases were reported by PCR tests over the past 24 hours by the Ministry of Health, a slight increase from the 426 new positive tests reported the day before. (Sputnik/ANI)