The five-day survey across Delhi’s 4,456 coronavirus containment zones and hotspots, which covered a population of 57.3 lakh from November 20 to 24, has found 13,516 persons showing symptoms, 8,413 contacts of identified cases, and a positivity rate of 6.42 per cent, according to official records.
The survey was prompted by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which turned its focus on the national capital after case and death count rose alarmingly. It was carried out by over 8,000 three-member teams comprising ASHA workers, school teachers and civil defence volunteers, among others.
While the significance of the numbers was still being assessed, the survey, said officials, served the dual purpose of generating awareness about the pandemic and isolating suspects and contacts.
“We cannot immediately comment on what the numbers actually mean. Our sero-surveys have also thrown up different numbers, which did not entirely conform to what many were expecting. But it has surely served the purpose of information, education and communication. Plus, symptomatics who may not have undergone testing immediately have been isolated as well as contacts,” a senior Delhi government official told The Indian Express.
According to records, a population of 57.3 lakh — which is a quarter of Delhi’s population — across 13.5 lakh households in containment zones and hotspots were covered by the survey till November 24. The objective was to identify and isolate coronavirus positive suspects and contacts.
While 13,516 suspects were identified, 11,790 of them were tested. Moreover, 8,413 contacts of coronavirus patients were also identified, out of which 6,546 were tested. The cumulative number of persons who tested positive are 1,178, which translates to a positivity rate of 6.42 per cent.
Ahead of the survey, district officials had told The Indian Express that its success depended mostly on the willingness of people to come forward and get screened. The teams were given thermal scanners and oximeters to identify symptomatic people.
The areas chosen for the survey are home to around 62 per cent of the 38,287 active cases. Delhi’s positivity rate — number of people found positive for every 100 tests — had risen to 15.33 per cent on November 15 and it saw a record 131 deaths on November 18 — deeply worrying numbers amid a crunch in availability of critical healthcare infrastructure in hospitals and nursing homes.
On Wednesday, the positivity rate stood at 8.49 per cent with 99 deaths. The four rounds of sero surveys in July, August, September and October found sero-prevalence of 22.86 per cent, 29.36 per cent, 24.79 per cent and 25.93 per cent respectively.x
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