Pune serosurvey shows 50% have antibodies against Covid-19


Indian Express

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India coronavirus numbers explained: Pune serosurvey shows 50% have antibodies against Covid-19

India Coronavirus Cases Numbers: The localities where the sero-survey was carried out in Pune are high-incidence areas, where the number of detected cases are much higher.

India Coronavirus Cases: 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.

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.

The sero-surveys in Delhi and Mumbai were carried out a few weeks earlier, and therefore, the disease spread in the population could actually have been a little lower at that time. Also, the localities where the sero-survey was carried out in Pune are high-incidence areas, where the number of detected cases are much higher.
In general, the results of Pune sero-survey are therefore “consistent” with the numbers thrown up by similar exercises in Delhi and Mumbai, as scientists Vineeta Bal and Satyajit Rath have written in The Indian Express.

“Together, they say that SARS-CoV2 (the scientific name of novel Coronavirus) 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.

But scientists again warn against interpreting these results as an indication of the percentage of population that might have become immune to the disease. The serological surveys are not designed to detect neutralising or “protective” antibodies in human beings. All antibodies are not protective. It is only the neutralising antibodies that can make a person immune to the disease.

More serological surveys are planned in Delhi, Mumbai and other cities in the coming days.

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