Coronavirus in Mumbai: BMC gets good response from people for second round of sero survey

After getting a lukewarm response in its first sero survey, the BMC has received a good response from people in the non-slum areas in the second round of sero surveillance. BMC officials said they have received positive response due to increased awareness about the virus and survey in slums and non-slum areas.

The civic body has started collecting the blood samples for the second phase of sero survey to check the presence of antibodies in people. For the second phase they will be collecting 5,840 samples from the same wards —M (West) (Tilaknagar and Chembur), F (North) (Matunga, Sion and Wadala) and R (North) (Dahisar and Mandapeshwar). So far, 3,976 samples have been collected.

“We have received positive response till now as so far 68 per cent of target has been achieved. Moreover by the end of the week study will be concluded,” said an official.

The civic body, along with NITI-Aayog and TIFR, had started first sero surveillance on July 3. In the first round, of the estimated 8,870 samples, 6,936 samples were collected from both, the slum and non-slum dwelling population.

As many as 4,234 individuals were randomly surveyed in slums. Out of which 56.5% of them were identified with the Covid-19 antibodies. In non-residential areas, out of the 2,702 people examined, only 419 came positive in the antibody testing. This counted to 15.5 per cent Covid-19 antibodies prevalence.

Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC said the second round survey is being done to know the exact percentage of the SARS-COV-2 virus among the citizens. Once the study is concluded they will compare it with the first survey. “During the first round of survey the response from the non-slum areas was below 20 per cent, however after awareness and sensitisation, people from different societies and buildings in the same ward have helped us to achieve more than 50 per cent target in just 48 hours,” he said.

Researchers from TIFR who are the part of the study said most of them who have contracted the infection are asymptomatic. With this survey they can come to a conclusion as to what extent the virus has spread in Mumbai. “With this second round of survey it will help us to compare the data with the first round which will help us gauge if the spread of the virus has been controlled or flattened,” he said.

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