Survey reveals presence of Covid antibodies in 33.9% of PCMC population

A population-based SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody survey conducted by Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has found the overall antibody seropositivity rate is 33.9%.

The study was conducted by the community medicine department of DY Patil Medical College and medical department of PCMC. The survey was carried out from October 7-17.

PCMC was divided in 200 clusters of which 25 random samples from each cluster were taken. Hence, a total of 5,000 samples were collected.

The survey found that presence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in women (33.8%) is more than men (28.9%).

“We can say that of 25 lakh population of PCMC, approximately 8.5 lakh have presence of antibodies against Covid. We are seeing a downward curve, but we cannot relax as Diwali is a bigger festival than Navratri so all norms need to be followed by the people,” said Shravan Hardikar, PCMC commissioner.

The administration has asked residents to strictly follow hygiene norms as the winter season is approaching and there are threats of other diseases.

“Lowering the guard is not an option looking at world statistics where the second wave of Covid is currently on. We need to keep a strict check on other respiratory infections as well which will be on the rise in winter. Special watch should be kept on fever OPDs. If number of cases of respiratory diseases increases then it should be informed to the administration,” said Dr Subhash Salunke, Covid technical committee advisor.

“While the survey conducted in Pune covered specific localities, samples from across all areas in PCMC were taken,” Hardikar said.

Dr Vijay Natarajan, chief executive officer at Symbiosis hospital, said, “The recorded antibody seropositivity rate is good, but it is not enough to say that we have established herd immunity and there is nothing to worry. All precautions need to be in place. Around 60-70 per cent seropositivity in a population will establish herd immunity.”

“It is a very small sample and is scattered all over PCMC. The case could have been more interesting if it was done in a more focussed area and findings have been made,” Natarajan said.

Dr Sanjeev Bagai, senior consultant paediatrician, nephrologist and Padma Shree Presidential Awardee tweeted, “Miniature sample size makes a statistical significant value irrelevant. These are called “biased & convenient” sampling. Any sero survey must include all categories of age, comorbidities, POS timelines, non-hot zones.”

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