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Every 2nd person says someone in close circle has tested positive for Covid, survey shows

LocalCircles survey notes that Covid numbers might be an understatement as 15% participants said they knew one or more people who are taking tests at home or not getting tested at all.

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New Delhi: A survey conducted by a social media community platform has found that every second participant knew one or more persons who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 30 days.

The survey, conducted by LocalCircles from 3 to 10 January, received more than 30,000 responses from citizens across 371 districts. While 66 per cent of the respondents were men, 34 per cent were women. Forty-six per cent of the respondents were from tier 1 cities, 28 per cent from tier 2 and 26 per cent from tier 3 and 4 cities, and rural districts.

On 10 January, 9,809 participants responded to the question of whether they knew people who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the last month. More than 50 per cent said they knew at least one such person in their close circle. 

A total of 9,014 participants had responded to the same question on 3 January, with 26 per cent saying close friends and acquaintances had tested positive, indicating that the number had doubled in just a week. 

Similarly, the percentage of those who know over five individuals in their close circle who had tested positive has also gone up from 0 per cent on 3 January to 23 per cent on 10 January. 

LocalCircles surveys had, in May 2020, during the first wave of Covid-19, indicated that 7 per cent of citizens had one or more individuals in their close social network who tested positive in the preceding 30 days. 

This percentage had shot up to 51 per cent during the initial phase of the second wave in March 2021.


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‘Numbers might be understatement’

The survey also noted that the Covid numbers might be an understatement as many people are taking tests at home or not getting tested at all.

“People in large cities have reported that many individuals in their networks are doing antigen tests at home instead of getting an RT-PCR done, or not taking a test at all and then going into quarantine or self-treatment,” it said. 

Asked how many individuals in their close social network had in the last 30 days, despite having Covid symptoms, not gotten an RT-PCR test done and instead resorted to self-treatment/quarantine at home, 15 per cent of the participants said they knew one or more such people.

With 1,94,720 new Covid cases, India’s total Covid tally has risen to 3,60,70,510, which included 4,868 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union health ministry data updated Wednesday.

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)


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