Nearly 20% people in Andhra Pradesh had COVID-19, finds statewide sero survey

Conducted in two phases with a sample size of 5,000 in each of the 13 districts, the survey found that 22.5% of the people in urban areas and 18.2% in rural areas had COVID-19 antibodies

Press Trust of India September 10, 2020 22:06:21 IST
Nearly 20% people in Andhra Pradesh had COVID-19, finds statewide sero survey

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Amaravati: Close to 20 percent of the 5.34 crore population in Andhra Pradesh has acquired immunity to COVID-19, a sero prevalence study has revealed.

The sero survey was conducted in two phases last month with a sample size of 5,000 in each of the 13 districts, establishing that 19.7 percent of people developed antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, the infection-causing virus.

Disclosing the survey findings, Andhra Pradesh Commissioner for Health and  Family Welfare Katamaneni Bhaskar said 22.5 percent population in urban areas and 18.2 percent in rural areas had acquired immunity against COVID-19.

Of the total surveyed, 19.9 women and 19.5 percent men developed antibodies, he told a press conference on Thursday evening.

Among the high-risk population (40+ age group and those with co-morbidities), 20.3 percent acquired immunity.

Interestingly, the survey revealed that 90 to 100 percent of the positive cases were asymptomatic.

Chittoor district was 100 percent asymptomatic, Anantapuramu 99.5 percent, Krishna 99.4 percent, Guntur and Srikakulam 98.5 percent each and Kurnool 98.3 percent.

Prakasam, which is on a steep ascent, showed 90.9 percent of the positive cases to be asymptomatic.

"Sero surveillance provides estimates of antibody levels against infectious diseases and is considered a gold standard for measuring population immunity. We have completed one round of surveillance in all districts in two phases," Bhaskar said.

SPS Nellore had the lowest levels of sero prevalence at 8.2 percent, West Godavari 12.3 percent, Prakasam 17.6 percent.

These three districts have been witnessing a steep rise in coronavirus cases over the past few days.

East Godavari, the state topper with over 72,000 cases and one of the highest infected in the country, had a sero prevalence of 14.4 percent.

The district has been adding cases in excess of 1,000 per day for the past few weeks.

Vizianagaram, which was the last district in the state to report a COVID-19 case, had the highest 30.6 percent sero prevalence, according to the survey report.

Kurnool, once the major hotbed in the state, showed a prevalence of 28.1 percent.

"We hope the spread of infection will now be lower in these districts where the population showed a higher growth of antibodies. The survey will help us understand the spread of infection and plan the management, including targeting of tests to yield better results," Bhaskar said.

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