Written bySiddhant Pandey
Considering Delhi has a population of around 20 million, the data indicates that 6.5 million people have been exposed to the virus, considerably higher than the number of infections confirmed by RT-PCR (Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests.
Here are more details.
Senior officials in the Delhi administration told Hindustan Times that roughly 33% of the 17,000 individuals were found to have antibodies during a week-long survey till September 7. Delhi had confirmed 193,526 COVID-19 cases till date.
The serosurvey indicates that the prevalence of antibodies for COVID-19 rose from 29.1% in August to roughly 33% in September.
The final results of the survey are yet to be released. A senior official told HT that it will likely be released by next week.
The official added, "The report has been submitted to the health department and it is currently being reviewed. The final report could have minor variations in the final seroprevalence since data from some wards are also being re-checked."
Delhi has been conducting monthly serological surveys to ascertain the scale of the community-wide spread of the virus. Notably, an infection may not trigger symptoms and people may unknowingly contract COVID-19 and recover.
The first survey—held between June 27-July 10—had found 22.9% seroprevalence among the 20,000 surveyed, while the second survey—conducted in August's first week—reported 29.1% seroprevalence among 15,000 people surveyed.
Dr. Lalit Kant, ICMR's former head of epidemiology and infectious disease, told HT, "A serosurvey is necessary to find out the true burden of the infection in the city or state."
He added, "More importantly it helps identify the number of asymptomatic people who had the disease and recovered from it. Such people, in most cases, are not even aware that they are infected."
Till Wednesday, Delhi had reported 2,30,269 COVID-19 cases, after witnessing a record single-day spike of 4,473 infections. The death toll in Delhi is 4,839, while 1,94,516 patients have recovered.
According to the Union Health Ministry's data, as of 8 am on Thursday, India reported a total of 51,18,253 COVID-19 cases, including 83,198 deaths, 10,09,976 active cases, and 40,25,079 recoveries.
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