Puducherry, Sep 4 (PTI) One in 20 people in Puducherry showed evidence of COVID-19 infection by the end of July while the positivity rate for antibodies was higher in the urban population than the rural population, a community-based survey conducted by the centrally-administered JIPMER has found.
The premier medical institution here conducted the survey to study the prevalence of antibodies in serum (blood) in an attempt to find the extent of spread of coronavirus infection (SARS-Covid) among the population in Puducherry.
A JIPMER release on Friday said the survey found that 'one in 20 persons in Puducherry district showed evidence of coronavirus infection by the end of July.' Experts from the Departments of Preventive and Social Medicine and Microbiology constituted the team, selected patients and collected blood samples. They also conducted the tests and analysed the results.
The release said blood samples were collected from randomly selected adults aged 18 years and above from 30 clusters with the ratio of urban and rural areas being 21:9 to reflect population distribution in the Union Territory.
The samples were collected between August 11 and 16.
The presence of antibodies was tested using immunoassay (procedure to detect or measure specific proteins or other substances through their properties as antigens or antibodies) with reported sensitivity of 99.5 per cent and specificity of 99.8 per cent at more than 14 days after exposure to the virus.
Of the total of 869 adults, 43 had antibodies against novel coronavirus (4.9 per cent).
The study also found that the positivity rate for antibodies was higher in the urban population as against the rural populace (5.7 per cent in comparison to 3.1 per cent) and among women than in men (6.3 per cent compared to 3.6 per cent).
It said the results reflected the occurrence of exposure in people residing in Puducherry by July 24.
The total number of confirmed cases in Puduchery district by that date was 2,271 with a cumulative incidence of 0.19 per cent for the population.
The proportion of people with presence of antibodies in blood was nearly 26-foldlarger than that of cases diagnosed by RT-PCR as on July 24, the release stated.
It said JIPMER proposed to undertake a 'repeat survey' in the second or third week of this month to assess the extent of exposure by last week of August. PTI COR SS RAVINDRANATH SS RAVINDRANATH