One in three exposed to Covid virus, reveals second Chennai sero survey – Times of India

Chennai News

CHENNAI: One in three people in Chennai has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, according to the second sero-prevalence survey done in the city in October. The first survey in June showed one-fifth of the city was exposed to the virus.
Earlier this month, health workers collected blood samples from nearly 6,500 people from across the city. After testing 6,388 samples, scientists found 2,062 people have IgG antibodies. This means at least 32.3% people have been exposed to the virus and have developed immunity against it.
“The study is still going on and these numbers may slightly vary,” said National Institute of Epidemiology director Dr Manoj V Murhekar.
The Greater Chennai Corporation, which announced the results on Wednesday, is yet to release a detailed report covering zone or ward wise information. The study was done by the civic agency along with the NIE and National Tuberculosis Research Institute. In the first sero surveillance in June, 2,673 of the 12,405 people had developed antibodies. This time the agencies conducted the survey in the same streets in the 51 wards across 15 zones of the civic body. But the sample size was half of what it was in the first survey, Dr Murhekar said.The increase in the number of people exposed to the virus proves the city now has “better immunity” said Greater Chennai Corporation commissioner G Prakash said. “Yet, we plan to continue screening and testing with the same vigour for at least three more months. With all our efforts the rate of transmission has come down,” he said.
State health secretary J Radhakrishnan added that in the absence of a vaccine or drug of choice individuals and institutions must follow protocols strictly. “We still report cases and deaths every day. We must protect the elderly and vulnerable at home. Others going out should wear a mask and maintain social distance,” he said. “We should not forget that three-fifths of the new infection of Covid-19 in the state came from 8% of super spreaders,” he said.