Latest serosurvey shows 56.13 pc people in Delhi have antibodies against COVID-19: Jain

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday said 56.13 per cent of those covered under the latest serological survey in the city in January have developed antibodies against coronavirus.

The minister said Delhi was 'moving towards herd immunity, but we should not go into it as only experts will be able to give a clear picture'.

The minister also informed that frontline workers will start getting COVID-19 vaccine jabs this week.

Nearly six lakh frontline workers, including government school teachers, MCD employees, police personnel, ASHA and ANM workers, are expected to be administered the vaccine. The fifth sero survey -- the largest in the country so far -- was conducted from January 15 to January 23, he said.

At 62.18 per cent, Southwest Delhi district reported maximum seroprevalence. North Delhi at 49.09 per cent recorded the lowest, Jain said.

More women have antibodies against COVID-19 than men, the minister said, without elaborating further. In the last serosurvey, the positivity rate was around 25-26 per cent, he said.

A new, better technology was used during the survey. Samples were collected from every ward. In all, 28,000 samples were taken, Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr Nutan Mundeja said.

'We conducted this serosurvey along with Maulana Azad Medical College and used CLIA technology, which is a more sensitive technology than ELISA technology. The samples were tested at ILBS so that there is uniformity across the city,' she said.

'The higher seroprevalence does not mean that we suddenly bring a change in our behavior with regards to COVID. Please maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly and wear masks at all times,' she said.

Jain said the number of daily cases have gone down considerably and remained below 200 for the last 10-12 days. The positivity rate has remained less than 1 per cent in the last one month.

The minister, however, insisted that people should continue to use masks for a few more months and maintain 'COVID-19-appropriate behaviour'.

Jain said three major changes were incorporated during the latest survey.

'We increased the sample size. Samples were collected on the basis of socio-economic conditions. A new, more sensitive kit was used and the testing was conducted at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences,' he said. PTI GVS AAR AAR