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Will discuss with ICMR about community transmission, says Maharashtra health minister

A sero survey conducted in first fortnight of July by BMC, along with Niti Aayog and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, found in slums 57 per cent people were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and had developed antibodies, and in non-slums 16 per cent had developed antibodies

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Updated: July 31, 2020 2:02:38 pm
maharashtra coronavirus latest update, mumbai coronavirus latest update, maharashtra covid-19, maharashtra coronavirus community transmission, covid 19 community transmission, rajesh tope, mumbai city news Rajesh Tope. (File)

The Maharashtra government will discuss the latest findings of Mumbai’s sero survey with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to assess whether the city has reached the stage of community transmission, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope told The Indian Express on Thursday.

“The state government is not an authority to decide upon this. The World Health Organisation and ICMR should say about community transmission in Maharashtra and India. They have expertise,” he said, adding, “Yes we are seeing a high seroprevalence in some slums. This might be because of common toilets. But in residential areas, the prevalence is still 15-16 per cent. We can not yet say entire city or state is seeing community transmission,” Tope said.

A sero survey conducted in first fortnight of July by BMC, along with Niti Aayog and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, found in slums 57 per cent people were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and had developed antibodies, and in non-slums 16 per cent had developed antibodies. This survey excluded containment zones. Researchers who conducted the survey said if containment zones were included the seroprevalence will be much higher city.

Read: Mumbai Sero Survey; Senior citizens most exposed in slums

“Even now 80-90 per cent cases are coming from containment zones or from institutional quarantine, very few from outside. We are only seeing widespread transmission in some slums of Mumbai,” Tope said.

The minister said the ICMR is aware of sero surveillance report from Mumbai and “has technical expertise to decide”.

On July 17, Kerela Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was first to admit there is local community transmission in two coastal hamlets in the state. A week later, Telangana health authorities also indicated presence of community transmission, asking people to remain vigilant for next three to four weeks. At 4.11 lakh Covid-19 cases, of them 1.48 lakh active, Maharashtra has the highest Covid-19 burden in India.

On Thursday, the state recorded 11,147 fresh coronavirus cases, the highest single day count so far for any state in country. Of them, Mumbai recorded 1,208 cases. The city has 1.13 lakh cases

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