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New Delhi, July 21, 2020
A serosurveillance study commissioned by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in Delhi in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic showed that, on an average, the prevalence of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies is 23.48 %.
The study also indicates that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic, an official press release said.
This study was conducted from June 27 to July 10 by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in collaboration with the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, following a rigorous multi-stage sampling study design.
For all the 11 districts of Delhi, survey teams were formed. Blood samples were collected from selected individuals after taking written informed consent and then their sera were tested for IgG antibodies and infection using Covid Kavach Elisa approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). It was one of the largest seroprevalence studies conducted in the country using the Elisa testing.
As many as 21,387 samples were collected as per lab standards and tested. The tests help in the identification of the presence of antibodies in the general population. These test performed is not a diagnostic test but only provides information about past infection due to SARS-CoV-2 in individuals who test positive.
Antibody testing repeatedly carried out over a period, that is, sero-surveillance, generates important evidence for assessing the spread of the pandemic from time to time.
Nearly six months into the epidemic, only 23.48% of the people are affected in Delhi, which has several pockets of dense population. This can be attributed to the proactive efforts taken by the Government to prevent the spread of infection including prompt lockdown, effective containment and surveillance measures, including contact tracing and tracking, as well as citizen’s compliance to COVID Appropriate Behaviours, the release said.
However, a significant proportion of the population is still vulnerable. Therefore, containment measures need to continue with the same rigour. Non-pharmacological interventions such as physical distancing, use of face mask/cover, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and avoidance of crowded places etc., must be followed strictly, the release added.