New Delhi: The results of the Indore serological survey pegged Covid-19 exposure in the Madhya Pradesh city at 7.75 per cent, with five of the city’s 85 administrative wards recording seroprevalence of over 20 per cent. This means over 20 per cent of the people in these five wards were found to have coronavirus antibodies.
The ward with the highest seroprevalence — Bombay Bazaar — is a former containment zone. It was found to have a seroprevalence of 30 per cent.
In the wards of Somnath, Haji Colony, Jawahar Colony and Ranipura, 20-25 per cent of the population was found to be exposed to Covid-19, while the exposure was 10-15 per cent in another 20 wards.
The rest of the 60 wards were found to have a seroprevalence between 6 and 10 per cent.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which was a part of the sero-surveillance exercise, said the results were a thumbs-up to the lockdown since the areas with the highest seroprevalence were also those that registered the highest number of Covid-19 cases.
“The low exposure of virus along with concentration of it in areas with high number of cases showed the efficacy of the lockdown and other preventive measures taken in the district to contain the virus infection,” said NCDC Deputy Chairman Neeta Dhuria at an event Friday where the survey results were released. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who contracted Covid-19 but has now beaten the disease, was also present at the event.
Serological surveys are an exercise aimed at detecting the true exposure of a population to a disease. They involve testing blood samples for antibodies and thus help detect even those people who may have recovered from the disease on their own without requiring medical assistance. In the case of Covid-19, this would include asymptomatic patients who unknowingly contracted and recovered from the disease.
As of Friday, Indore had recorded 12,229 Covid cases, of which 3,240 are active, and 379 deaths.
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Two samples were collected
The serological survey, Indore’s first, is based on 7,100 blood samples collected from 85 wards between 11 and 25 August.
Among the participants, 33 per cent were children, 33 per cent women, and 33 per cent men. The samples were collected by the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College (MGMMC) along with the NCDC.
“More than 95 per cent of people selected under the study gave their samples. We have collected the samples under a community cross-sectional design, selected on a random basis through artificial intelligence,” Indore Divisional Commissioner Dr Pawan Sharma said at the programme.
Health workers collected two samples of blood, one from the vein and another from a finger. Explaining the need for two samples, Dr Anita Mootha, member of the state sero-survey team, had told The Times of India earlier this month, “If study concludes that level of antibodies in both blood samples is same, the need for collection of venous blood will be eliminated.”
MGMMC dean Dr Jyoti Bindal said this part of the result is not ready and will be declared in the next few days.
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