Few Israelis Found to Have Covid Antibodies in National Survey

Israel, which entered a second coronavirus lockdown last week, found in a nationwide survey that less than 4% of its population has developed antibodies against Covid-19.

The survey suggests about 318,000 people across the country had contracted the coronavirus by late August, about triple the official number of confirmed cases at the time, according to a Health Ministry presentation seen by Bloomberg. The survey, dated Aug. 23, was conducted on a sample of 51,000 people deemed to represent the country’s 9.2 million inhabitants.

The findings won’t influence the way the government is managing the pandemic since very little of the population appears to have been exposed to the virus, said a senior health official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Israel’s Health Ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Israel entered asecond lockdown last Friday to roll back a surge in infections. In the month since the Health Ministry report, new cases have soared and deaths have climbed 52% to 1,273.

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The report shows young children and teenagers had the highest rates of prior infection, appearing to confirm the conclusion by many experts that Israel hadrushed to reopen its schools.

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