Two in three people living in the urban parts of Odisha’s Gajapati district—which had the state’s fourth-highest Covid-19 caseload in August—have developed antibodies against the coronavirus, the results of a recent serological survey showed.
Not only has the district recorded a promisingly high rate of antibody development, it also controlled its Covid caseload by the end of August—at present, it has 169 active cases, with a total case count of 3,065 of toll of 23.
The multi-stage random sampling study was conducted in the urban localities of the district by teams from the Regional Medical Research Centre. “The data reveals that 2/3rd of the people surveyed have developed antibodies. The seroprevalence level varied from 64 per cent to as high as 92 per cent in some wards,” RMRC director Dr Sanghamitra Pati said.
Seroprevalence refers to the level of a pathogen in a population.
The data also revealed that among the high risk groups, which includes frontline workers, the presence of antibodies ranged from 40 to 85 per cent. “The highest prevalence was found among police personnel (54 per cent), followed by healthcare workers (50 per cent),” Pati said.
According to the survey, 95 per cent of those surveyed had no symptoms while above 50 per cent of the total sample surveyed had undergone rapid antigen testing.
The seroprevalence is also higher than that of Ganjam district—once a hotspot where nearly 30 per cent of the population had developed antibodies. In Bhubaneswar, the prevalence was a mere 5 per cent. “This is a very promising result that so many people have developed antibodies. This signifies that people have developed immunity but it is too soon to talk about herd immunity. But depending on this survey result, we will soon be forming teams to study the immunity levels to the virus in this district. For the first survey, people from the urban localities were surveyed. The next round of survey will also include rural areas,” Pati said.
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