COVID-19 update: INDIA�S second COVID-19 Sero-Survey Results are out !! -
COVID-19 update: INDIA�S second COVID-19 Sero-Survey Results are out !!
Posted 30 Sep 2020 05:13 PM

Deccan Herald


COVID-19 update: INDIA�S second COVID-19 Sero-Survey Results are out !!

September 3, 2020

One of the biggest challenges for any country is to pick up asymptomatic infected individuals who might be spreading the infections to others. This is why sero-prevalence surveys are important and are periodically done. Sero-surveys are conducted by drawing blood samples and testing for IgG antibodies detection of which indicates PAST exposure to coronavirus. Depending upon the level of sero-prevalence, administration can implement course correction interventions. The high titers (if present) will help in allaying the fear and anxiety of health care workers, office employees and other front line workers. In case of low titers, appropriate public health interventions can be planned and implemented for prevention and control of the disease.

The first national sero-prevalence survey in May had shown that 0.73% of our population had been exposed to the novel Coronavirus. The first survey also indicated that there were 82-130 infection per COVID-19 positive case.

The second national sero-prevalence survey in August has shown that 7.1% of our population had been exposed to the novel Coronavirus in the recent past. It has also indicated that there are now 26-32 infection per COVID-19 positive case.

Simply put, 1 in 15 individuals (>10 years) were estimated to be infected with coronavirus and 9-11 Crore Indians are estimated to have been infected by coronavirus in August 2020. The survey�s results also found area wise prevalence as below:

- Urban slums: 15.6%
- Urban non-slums: 8.2%
- Rural areas: 4.4%

Apart from national sero-surveys, many states have conducted their own sero-prevalence surveys the results of which are below:

- Mumbai slums: 57.8%
- Delhi: 29.1%
- Chennai: 21.5%
- Ahmedabad: 17.6%
- Mumbai non-slums: 17.4%
- Indore: 7.8%

The figures are suggestive that lockdown, containment measures and behavioural changes have slowed down the spread of the virus. However, a huge proportion of our population still remains susceptible to corona virus infection especially in the upcoming winters when seasonal pneumonia and influenza increases and there are mass gatherings during festivities like Chhath, Diwali and Eid.

While herd immunity is still elusive, unrealistic and impractical, the hard lessons learnt from the West don't give us any reason to believe that the worst is over. There needs to be a consistent decline for several weeks before we can think of having reached or crossed the peak.

Reference: Press briefing by Dr. Balram Bhargava, ICMR Director General (29-09-2020)
By: Dr. Sandeep Dogra

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