PUDUCHERRY: Nearly one-fifth of the population in Puducherry had been infected by COVID-19 by the end of August, according to a sero prevalence study done by JIPMER.
The study found that over a period of one month from July end to August end, the antibody sero prevalence showed a 4.2 fold increase. This is also in keeping with the 4.1 fold rise in the number of confirmed cases over the same period in Puducherry. The data indicated that Puducherry had a high rate of transmission during August 2020.
Also, the prevalence of serological evidence with antibodies in the population is much higher than detected by RT-PCR as found at two time points on 30th of July and 30th of August. Thus, nearly one fifth of the population in Puducherry had been infected by COVID-19 by the end of August.
In an attempt to evaluate the extent of spread of COVID-19 in Puducherry, JIPMER conducted two community based serological surveys at an interval of four weeks with blood samples collected from 21 urban and nine rural areas from August 11 to 16 and September 10 to 16.
In the first round from 11th to 16th August, 869 adults were tested and 43 (4.9 percent) had antibodies against COVID-19 with a higher positivity in urban areas (5.7 percent in urban versus 3.1 percent in rural) and among women (6.3 percent versus 3.6 percent). The first round data reflects the cumulative proportion of Puducherry population infected as on 30th July.
In the second round from 10-16 September, of the 898 adults tested, 186 (20.7 percent) had antibodies against COVID-19 infection. In the second round, the positivity rate was similar in urban and rural population (20.7 percent versus 20.8 percent) and among men and women (21.4 percent versus 20 percent).
The second round data reflects the cumulative proportion of Puducherry population who had been infected with COVID-19 as on 30th August. The number of confirmed cases recorded in the district population on 30th July and 30th August respectively was 2987 and 12,331.