COVID-19: India had 6 million cases by May, but still in the early phase - reveals ICMR study!

The serosurvey study carried out by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has shocking revealed that the country had 6.4 million COVID-19 cases as of May with the people in the age group of 18-45 years had highly exposed to the virus. 

The ICMR has, on Thursday, published the results of part two of the first national population-based serosurvey, that inspected the transmission and exposure of the global pandemic in the country. The survey was conducted between May 11 and June 4 in 21 states and the findings of the study revealed that 0.73% of the adults surveyed were exposed to the COVID-19 pandemic, amounting to 6.4 million infections in total by early May. 

The study indicated the survey found that 0.73% of the surveyed people had developed antibodies of the novel coronavirus. According to reports, the survey had covered 28,000 individuals whose blood samples were tested for IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibodies and it came to the revelation that the seropositivity was highest in the age group of 18-45 years (43.3 percent), followed by those between 46-60 years (39.5 percent), and it was the lowest among those aged above 60 (17.2 percent). 

As per the result of the survey, it had estimated that a total of 64,68,388 people had infected in India by early May. The study underlined that the findings of the serosurvey indicated a low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with less than one percent of the adult population exposed to the virus. This low prevalence observed in most districts had indicated that India is in the early phase of the epidemic and the majority of the Indian population is still susceptible to the COVID-19 viral infection. 

The ICMR had pressed that its necessary to continue to implement the context-specific containment measures including testing of all symptomatic, isolating positive cases, and tracing high-risk contacts to slow transmission and to prevent the overburdening of the health system. As part of the survey, a total of 30,283 households were visited from 700 clusters in 70 districts across four strata - four classification of districts based on zero to high COVID-19 cases. 

About one-fourth (25.9 percent) of the surveyed clusters were from the urban areas and the seropositivity was highest at 69.4% in the rural areas while in the urban slums, the seropositivity was 15.9%, and it was 14.6% in the urban non-slums. 

The survey further found out that based on the overall seroprevalence and the number of COVID-19 cases, it was estimated that for every RT-PCR confirmed case of COVID-19, there were 82-130 infections in India. 

The ICMR further stated that most of the population still remains susceptible to infection and the country needs to implement the health strategy to deal with an inevitable increase in transmission. The reports say that the findings of the survey were much awaited to understand the transmission and exposure of the global pandemic among the Indian populace and the study had alarmed that a large section of the population still remains under vulnerability to the viral infection. India has reported over 4.5 million positive cases so far as of Friday morning and it is the second worst-affected country in the world after the United States.