Over 64 lakh adults in India infected with COVID-19 by early May, finds ICMR serosurvey

The survey was conducted from 11 May to 4 June and covered 28,000 individuals whose blood samples were tested for IgG antibodies using COVID Kavach ELISA kit

Press Trust of India September 11, 2020 09:05:41 IST
Over 64 lakh adults in India infected with COVID-19 by early May, finds ICMR serosurvey

The much-awaited findings of the first national serosurvey conducted by the ICMR, published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, indicated that 0.73 percent adults in India were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, amounting to a total of 6.4 million infections by early May.

The survey was conducted from 11 May to 4 June and covered 28,000 individuals whose blood samples were tested for IgG antibodies using COVID Kavach ELISA kit.

Also, seropositivity was the highest in the age group of 18-45 years (43.3 percent), followed by those between 46-60 years (39.5 per cent) and it was the lowest among those aged above 60 (17.2 percent).

A total of 64,68,388 adult infections were estimated in India by the early May, the survey report said.

"The findings of our survey indicated that the overall seroprevalence in India was low, with less than one percent of the adult population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 by mid-May 2020.

"The low prevalence observed in most districts indicates that India is in early phase of the epidemic and the majority of the Indian population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection," the survey report stressed.

It highlighted the need to continue to implement the context-specific containment measures including the testing of all symptomatics, isolating positive cases and tracing high-risk contacts to slow transmission and to prevent the overburdening of the health system.

Males, living in urban slums and occupation with high risk of exposure to potentially infected persons were associated with seropositivity.

According to the survey report, seroprevalence ranged between 0.62 and 1.03 percent across the four strata of districts.

The stratification of districts as zero cases (15 districts), low (22 districts), medium (16) and high (17) was done on the basis of the reported number of COVID-19 cases as on 25 April.

Based on the overall adjusted seroprevalence of 0.73 percent and reported number of COVID-19 cases, it was estimated that for every RT-PCR confirmed case of COVID-19 there were 82-130 infections in India.

As part of the survey, a total of 30,283 households were visited from 700 clusters in 70 districts across the four strata. About one-fourth (25.9 percent) of the surveyed clusters were from urban areas. A total of 28,000 individuals consented to
participate, the report stated.

Nearly half (48.5 percent) of the participants were aged between 18 and 45 and 51.5 percent (14,390) were females. In all, 18.7 percent of the participants had an occupation with a high risk of exposure to potentially infected persons.

The survey noted that there could be under-detection of COVID-19 cases in the zero stratum districts on account of low testing as well as poor access to testing laboratories.

In four of the 15 districts in this stratum, COVID-19 testing laboratories were not available in district headquarters and the samples were transported to the state headquarter hospitals for diagnosis.

The present findings of seropositivity in the strata of districts with zero to low incidence of COVID-19 cases underscores the need to strengthen surveillance and augment the testing of suspected cases in these areas, the survey report said.

Updated Date:

also read

Copa America's fate rests in hands of Brazil Supreme Court amid surge in country's COVID-19 cases
Sports

Copa America's fate rests in hands of Brazil Supreme Court amid surge in country's COVID-19 cases

Already delayed by 12 months because of the pandemic, the Copa America nearly unravelled when original co-hosts Colombia and Argentina fell through at the last minute — the former because of violent anti-government protests, the latter because of a surge of COVID-19.

Euro 2020: Fans at England's European Championship games to use vaccine passports
Sports

Euro 2020: Fans at England's European Championship games to use vaccine passports

There will around 22,500 spectators for England's first two group games, against Croatia and Scotland at Wembley, with the stadium running at 25 percent capacity.

COVAXIN not made of calf serum, is part of manufacturing process - MoHFW and Bharat Biotech clarify
India

COVAXIN not made of calf serum, is part of manufacturing process - MoHFW and Bharat Biotech clarify

An RTI petition was submitted by Vikas Patni, on 15 April, 2021, to CDSCO consisted of 12 questions on the vaccines in India.