Science

Explaining: What do the numbers of the serological survey in Delhi suggest about herd immunity in the capital?

written by Saxena Asta

Edited by the Explanation Office | New Delhi |

Jan 26, 2021 5:34:15 pm

Preliminary results of the fifth round of serological survey conducted in Delhi Indicate that more than 50 percent Of people surveyed during exercise developed antibodies Covid-19.

The survey was conducted between January 11 and January 22, and a total of 28,840 samples were captured from 11 districts in Delhi.

What do these results mean for Delhi?

The results of the recent serological survey in Delhi prompted researchers and experts to speculate that a large portion of the city’s population had already developed antibodies to Covid-19.

The presence of antibodies among a large proportion of the population may be a reason for the low daily number of Covid-19 cases. As more people are able to fight the infection, this will help break the chain of transmission of the virus.

How many of these surveys have been conducted so far?

Five serological surveys have been conducted in Delhi to date, including the current one, which was conducted in January.

The first serological survey was conducted jointly with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in the last week of June.

The following four studies were initiated and planned by the Delhi government in August, September, October 2020 and January 2021.

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What did those previous surveys show?

A serological survey conducted by the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention in July of last year suggested antibodies in 23 percent of those surveyed. In August, a survey by the Delhi government showed that 29.1 percent had antibodies.

The number decreased to 25.1 percent in September, and settled at 25.5 percent in October.

How important is it to perform this exercise regularly?

Performing frequent serological monitoring in the same population gives an idea of ​​how the disease is behaving. Yogal Kishore, Head of Community Medicine, Safdarjung Hospital and Fardman Mahavir Medical School, said, “It’s always good to have regular monitoring to understand trends. Having strong monitoring is always helpful, and it might not be very close, but it might help us provide an idea, even On the natural history of disease. “

What do the data indicate about herd immunity?

Many researchers believe that if 60% or more of the population develops antibodies to Covid-19, there is a possibility of gaining herd immunity. “In Delhi, this is quite an indication, as the number of cases is also declining. This indicates that we are getting closer to getting herd immunity,” said Dr. Kishore.

What should be the next course of action for the city?

Dr Samiran Panda, Scientist and Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said: “It is time for us to look at the data carefully and try to understand whether it is a homogeneous picture that we have seen and applies to the whole of Delhi; It should be separated in terms of urban / slum and rural settings.

“Looking at the data from the top is not going to help us. We have to get into the details, and this will help us understand the exact situation. We need to step up our intervention measures, instead of relying entirely on herd immunity.”

Will the city conduct more of these surveys in the coming months?

According to senior officials in the Delhi government, the state Ministry of Health plans to continue conducting serological surveys at regular intervals until such time that a large proportion of the city population has developed antibodies to the virus.

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