- The localities where the sero-survey was carried out in Pune are high-incidence areas, where the number of detected cases are much higher.
- The results of a serological survey in Pune has indicated that over 50 per cent of the population could already have been infected by novel Coronavirus.
- This is significantly higher than the results of similar serological surveys carried out in some other cities, like Delhi and Mumbai, but not surprising.
- Results of the serosurveillance, however, also show that an average of 51.5 per cent people, tested in high-prevalence areas.
- This is a joint venture of the PMC, IISER, Pune University, Translational Health Sciences and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad, and Christian Medical College, Vellore. The team was guided by Dr L S Shashidhara, professor at Ashoka University.
- The serological study reported an extensive spread of the infection, ranging from 36.1 per cent to 65.4 per cent in selected areas sampled in Pune city across all types of dwellings.
- A total of 63 locations from high-incidence prabhags of Kasba Peth-Somwar Peth, Rasta Peth-Raviwar Peth, Lohiyanagar-Kasewadi, Yerawada, and Navi Peth-Parvati were randomly selected while blood samples from 1,664 people, chosen as per the study design, were collected between July 20 and August 5.
- The study showed a high seropositivity of 43.9 per cent among people living in bungalows, while it was 56 per cent to 62 per cent in those living in tenements or hutment dwellings.
- People living in apartments have lower prevalence at 33 per cent. The prevalence is 45.3 per cent among people with access to independent toilets as against 62.2 per cent who share toilets.
- There was no difference between men (52.8 per cent) and women (50.1 per cent), while the elderly (those aged above 66) have a lower prevalence at 39.8 per cent.
- The sero-survey in Delhi had found 23 per cent of the sampled people to be carrying novel Coronavirus-specific anti-bodies, showing that they would have been infected at some point or the other.
- In Mumbai, about 40 per cent of the sampled group was found to be infected.
- “Together, they say that SARS-CoV2 has been spreading widely in our urban communities, particularly in crowded localities,” they write.
- “These numbers also seem to confirm the general impression that most SARS-CoV2 infections are asymptomatic (some estimates say approximately 80 per cent are asymptomatic). Most of the volunteers participating in this survey reported no illness over the past few months. Of course, the virus could be spreading from asymptomatically infected people too, especially within families,” the scientists have written.
- More serological surveys are planned in Delhi, Mumbai and other cities in the coming days.
- With more than 1.32 lakh infected people, Pune already has overtaken Mumbai in the total number of people who have so far been confirmed positive.
- At the rate which it is currently growing, about 3,000 cases every day, it is poised to even surpass Delhi’s number of 1.53 lakh in a few days. Pune already has the highest number of active cases in the country.