SoftBank Group Corp. said Tuesday that 0.43 percent, or 191, of 44,066 blood samples collected from its employees, medical workers and others in Japan had antibodies for the new coronavirus.

The ratio of those testing positive for antibodies was 1.79 percent among medical workers, higher than 0.23 percent among employees at SoftBank group companies and their clients. The study also showed some had antibodies despite having tested negative in the polymerase chain reaction test used to diagnose the disease.

The tests, which detect signs of past infections of the new coronavirus, were carried out from May 12 to Monday on 5,850 medical workers and 38,216 employees at 465 firms, including SoftBank group companies and clients.

"When we quickly resume our business operations, we cannot ward off concerns of a second wave of infections. I hope these results would be of help in some ways to contain the pandemic," SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son told an online event.

The Japanese government also launched antibody tests targeting some 10,000 people, in the hope of grasping the extent to which the virus has spread and assessing the outlook for infection numbers should there be second wave.