Delhi 2nd sero survey: Only 6% additional spread of COVID-19; prevalence in South-East district jumps 11%

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August 21, 2020 10:41 AM

The slowdown indicated in the sero survey also mirrors the number of new cases being reported in the national capital which has come down considerably, with the active number of Covid-19 cases in the city at around 12,000 only.

Another quarter of the lot belonged to individuals aged above 50, according to the Express report.Another quarter of the lot belonged to individuals aged above 50, according to the Express report.

The second round of Delhi serological survey, which was conducted in the first week of August, has suggested that over 29% of Delhi’s population have COVID-19 antibodies with the maximum prevalence in the South-East district at 33.2 percent. In the first round of sero survey in the city, antibodies were found in over 23 percent of the population. The data showed in the one-month period between the two surveys there was a further spread of the disease in only about 6 per cent of the population, which could be considered a significant slowdown, according to a report by The Indian Express.

The slowdown indicated in the sero survey also mirrors the number of new cases being reported in the national capital which has come down considerably, with the active number of Covid-19 cases in the city at around 12,000 only. The daily growth of the cases went down to 1 per cent in the third week of July and has since remained there despite the rise in the number of tests in the city. However, the numbers sprang up a surprise, considering that most lockdown restrictions on the people have been lifted and interaction among people has also increased to a large extent in the city. Delhi’s astonishing slowdown in the Covid-19 spread also is in large contrast to the sero survey findings in India’s two worst-affected cities—Pune and Mumbai. While the latest sero survey in Pune showed spread of disease in 51 per cent of the population, the number stood at 40 per cent for Mumbai, where the survey was conducted last month.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain, who presented the findings of the survey, was also quoted as saying that the survey suggested there was no exponential rise in the city. He also said that abundant safety precautions being taken by people might account for the slowdown in the spread of the disease. According to The Indian Express report, the considerable slow growth of the virus could be on account of near-universal acceptance of social distancing, masks, and sanitisation measures.

Another striking finding in the latest sero survey is the highest jump in the spread of about 11 per cent in the South-East district of Delhi. In contrast to the numbers showing the highest prevalence of 33.2 per cent in this survey, the spread of the virus had been pegged at only 22.12 per cent in the district. Commenting on the further spread of 11 per cent in the district, Minister Satyendra Jain said districts which were on the top of the list have now gone down in the rate of spread, while those which had low spread in the first survey have a higher growth rate today. Giving the example of the North East district, which was on the first position earlier, Jain said that the growth of the virus has only seen an increase of 6.7 per cent.

The South-East district has under its jurisdiction areas like Sarita Vihar, Kalkaji and Nizamuddin in the city. In the previous sero survey, only eight districts out of eleven had shown prevalence beyond 20 per cent, which has increased to 10 districts in the present round. North and Central districts closely follow the South East district at 31.6% and 31.4 percent prevalence, respectively.

A total of 15,000 people spread across different parts of the city were surveyed in the second-round survey. Multi-stage sampling was also done by the experts at the Maulana Azad Medical College to incorporate individuals from each strata of society in varied age groups. The minister was quoted as saying that the sample of individuals excluded all people who were part of the first round of sero survey along with including people from slum, middle class and upper middle class sections of the city. About 25 per cent individuals were less than 18 years of age while about 50 per cent of the surveyed people fell in the bracket of 18 to 50 years of age. Another quarter of the lot belonged to individuals aged above 50, according to the Express report.

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