HYDERABAD: One out of every four persons in Telangna contracted the Covid-19 by the end of December 2020, revealed the third round of sero-surveillance by the Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in the three districts of the state - Jangaon, Nalgonda and Kamareddy.
As part of the sero survey, the NIN officials collected blood samples of people from the three districts and tested them for the antibodies that are released when one gets infected by Covid-19.
It was found that 24% of all blood samples collected from the three districts, tested positive for the antibodies -- meaning that around one-fourth of the population there was already infected by the disease. This was done as part of the National Sero-survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The ICMR strategy has been to do repeat cross-sectional sero studies in the same geographic locations so that the infection transmission trends could be documented and studied.
In the first round of the serosurvey conducted in May 2020 in the same three districts, the percentage of people infected by Covid-19 was 0.33%, whereas, in the second round of serosurvey in August 2020, the prevalence was 12.5%.
A press release by the NIN on Tuesday noted that while the seroprevalence at the national level went up 3.1 times in the period August-December 2020, in Telangana this went up by 2 times. Telangana’s seroprevalence (24.1%) as of December 2020 was similar to that of the national average (24%). However, the sero-prevalence in some states like Delhi.
“This shows the effectiveness of robust containment measures in the State including quarantine, contact tracing, and testing strategies”, said Dr. Hemalatha R, Director of ICMR-NIN.
The ICMR nodal officer Dr. A Laxmaiah said that good compliance by the public in adopting Covid-19 protocols before the survey ensured that infection transmission remained slow and steady in Telangana.
However, the NIN warned that since almost 75% of rural population is still susceptible to Covid-19, all measures like wearing masks, hand sanitization and physical distancing must be continued.