Hyderabad: A sero-surveillance study led by Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN) has indicated that one in every four individuals has antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Telangana.
The third round of sero-surveillance led by the ICMR-NIN, which was conducted in three districts of Telangana in December 2020 as part of the National Sero-Survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has put the sero-positivity rate (IgG positivity, indicative of silent, prior exposure to SARS-CoV2) at 24 percent. The sero-survey was conducted in Jangaon, Nalgonda and Kamareddy.
“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. The first round of the sero-survey, conducted in May 2020 in the same districts, showed a sero prevalence of 0.33 percent, while the second round in August showed 12.5 percent prevalence and the current round had shown 24.1 percent,” NIN on Tuesday said.
The sero-prevalence at the national level went up 3.1 times between August and December but in Telangana, this went up by two times. Telangana’s sero-prevalence i.e. 24.1 percent as of December 2020 was similar to that of the national average.
“The study 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.
ICMR-Nodal Officer Dr. Laxmaiah said good compliance and cooperation shown by the public in adopting universal mask wearing and other Covid-19 protocols before the survey ensured that infection transmission remained slow and steady in the State. Since three-fourth of the rural population is still susceptible, all non-pharmacological Covid-19 measures like wearing masks, hand sanitization, physical distancing should be continued, he added.
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