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Once hot spot, Indore sero survey shows only 7% have antibodies

The largest and most populous city in Madhya Pradesh and its commercial hub, Indore accounts for a major share of its coronavirus cases. Of the state's total 58,181 positive cases so far and 1,306 deaths, 12,031 cases and 375 deaths have been seen in Indore.

Of the 7,103 samples collected from across 85 wards in Indore for the sero survey, 548 tested positive for antibodies. (File/Representational)

HAVING averaged a Covid-19 case mortality rate substantially higher than the national average even last month, Indore has left authorities surprised with its first ever sero survey, showing antibodies only among 7.75% of the population covered. This is the lowest for cities in India where sero surveys have been conducted, with officials saying it indicates that there is no community transmission in Indore.

In another interesting finding, the survey, conducted between August 11 and 23 and including a sample size of 7,103, found a high share of antibodies among the 60-plus age group, which is the most vulnerable to Covid-19. The report of the survey was released on Friday.

The largest and most populous city in Madhya Pradesh and its commercial hub, Indore accounts for a major share of its coronavirus cases. Of the state’s total 58,181 positive cases so far and 1,306 deaths, 12,031 cases and 375 deaths have been seen in Indore.


Of the 7,103 samples collected from across 85 wards in Indore for the sero survey, 548 tested positive for antibodies. The samples collected included an equal number of men and women (33% each) above the age of 18, with minors making up the rest. Only one sample each was taken from a household. The prevalence of antibodies was almost the same among men and women — 7.9% and 7.5% respectively.

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Seroprevalence was found to be highest in residents between 45-60 years of age (10.04%), followed by those closer to 60 years (8.4%). Among those under 18, only 7.2% showed antibodies.

The wards with maximum cases showed the most seroprevalence, with Bambai Bazar Ward at the highest (30%), followed by Somnath, Haji Colony, Jawahar Marg and Ranipura (20-25%).

Dr Jyoti Bindal, Dean of MGM Medial College Indore, which conducted the sero survey along with the National Centre for Disease Control, said, “The reports suggest that positive cases and the subsequent prevalence of antibodies are not scattered but confined to hotspots. This certainly rules out community transmission.”

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She said measures like isolation, identification, testing and tracing appeared to have contained the spread of the virus.

Indore’s case fatality ratio has been consistently high, and in July, stood at about 5 per cent, almost 2 per cent more than the national average of 2.95 per cent. Most of its deaths have been in the age group of 60 and older, with comorbidities.

Additional Chief Secretary Sulemman Mohammad said, “Most of the deceased reported late to the hospital.”

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While asserting that the numbers showed the city was not seeing community transmission, officials said it also meant that close to 92% of the population remained susceptible to the virus.

First published on: 29-08-2020 at 01:42 IST
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