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SURVEY

  • Mumbai’s latest findings are among one of the highest exposure rates found globally. A sero-survey in Spain covering 61,075 participants between April to May found 5 per cent seroprevalence.

 

SURVEY

  • A serological survey conducted on 6,936 people in three wards Mumbai found 40.5 per cent of them were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, a virus that causes Covid-19, and had developed IgG antibodies against it.
  • Mumbai’s latest findings are among one of the highest exposure rates found globally.

SERO SURVEYS

  • A sero-survey in Spain covering 61,075 participants between April to May found 5 per cent seroprevalence.
  • A recent Delhi sero survey covering 11 districts and 21,387 people found 23.48 per cent population had developed IgG antibodies.
  • In New York, 3,14,000 samples found antibodies in 26 per cent samples, except for a few smaller pockets that reported seroprevalence of 56 to 68 per cent.


REGIONS SELECTED

  • In May, BMC selected three wards for survey of 8,800 people: Matunga (F-North ward) that had the highest growth rate and caseload, and proximity to Dharavi, city’s biggest slum that had become a hotspot in April.
  • It also selected Chembur (M-West ward) for medium growth rate in Covid-19 cases and Dahisar (R-north) that had the lowest growth rate in the city.
  • Eventually, 6,936 people agreed to give their samples — 4,234 from slums and 2,702 from non-slums.


FINDINGS

  • The survey found Matunga slums had the highest sero prevalence at 57.8 per cent.  TIFR partnered with BMC and Niti Aayog to conduct the serosurvey.
  • In slums, 57 per cent had seroprevalence as opposed to 16 per cent in non-slum areas. Dr Ullas Kolthur Seetharam, from TIFR, says high population density, poor physical distancing, shared facilities like toilets, washing areas, and people living in close quarters have contributed to a faster viral transmission in slums.
  • In high-rises and gated societies, individual toilets and low-population density have led to lower exposure to the virus.


FINDINGS

  • If these findings are extrapolated, it may mean around 70 lakh people in Mumbai have already been exposed to Covid-19.
  • Until now around 70-80 per cent Covid-19 cases diagnosed were asymptomatic. This survey indicates perhaps more than 90 per cent people are in fact asymptomatic
  • The survey finds that the actual fatality rate, in that case, will be much lower at 0.05 to 0.10 per cent. Confirmed covid cases currently in Mumbai are 1.10 lakh with 6,187 deaths (5.5 per cent fatality rate).


MEN VS WOMEN

  • Until now RT-PCR tests of all confirmed cases in Maharashtra have shown 61 per cent men have been infected and 39 per cent were women. Of 6,187 deaths in the state, 65 per cent were men and 35 per cent women.In Mumbai, men account for 55 per cent of total cases and women 45 per cent.
  • The serosurvey has thrown up a surprising finding. More women were in fact exposed to Covid-19 and more women developed immunity than men. Data showed that in slums 59.3 per cent of 2,297 women tested, and 53.2 per cent of 1,937 men had antibodies against Covid-19. In non-slum areas, 16.8 per cent of women and 14.9 per cent of total men tested had developed antibodies.


HERD IMMUNITY

  • The seroprevalence of 40.5 per cent , Shastri says, is an indicator that “we have come closer to herd immunity”. Shastri is one of the members heading the survey.
  • Clinical scientist Kang also says that at 57 per cent, slums are close to herd immunity.
  • Globally, experts believe if 60 per cent population is infected, herd immunity can be achieved for Covid-19. But Maharashtra state epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate points towards a few challenges. “Yes, slums will achieve herd immunity faster than the general population in Mumbai. But we do not know how long IgG antibodies last”


What private labs in Mumbai found

  • Data of 9,590 samples tested for antibodies in Mumbai’s two private laboratories showed overall 24.3 per cent had antibodies against Covid-19.
  • These samples were collected from people who could afford to pay and included office-goers, businessmen, salon staff, health workers, and residential societies.
  • Thyrocare tested 5,485 people, and found antibodies in 1,501 (27.3 per cent). Likewise. Suburban Diagnostics lab tested 4,105 people and found 830 (20.2 per cent) had antibodies.
  • The private labs may not have got the slum population to test, hence the overall prevalence is lower than BMC survey. But since these labs tested middle-class and upper-class sections, it may indicate that the seroprevalence is higher than 16 per cent.

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