A total of 27.7 per cent of the people in Punjab's containment zones are found to be positive for COVID antibodies, indicating that they have already been infected and recovered from coronavirus.
The survey findings, submitted to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh during a COVID review meeting on Thursday, showed the SARS-CoV2 antibodies prevalence in the containment zones to be the highest at 40 per cent in Amritsar district, followed by 35.6 per cent in Ludhiana, 33.2 per cent in SAS Nagar, 19.2 per cent in Patiala district and 10.8 per cent in Jalandhar.
This was Punjab's first exclusive survey and was conducted in five containment zones from August 1 to August 17, in a systematically selected random sample population of 1250. The earlier surveys were more generalised and were conducted by the state government in coordination with ICMR.
The survey report came on the day when Delhi released its second Sero Survey findings, which showed nearly 29 per cent seroprevalence in the national capital. For this survey, the selected containment zones, which had reported the highest number of COVID cases, were located, one each in Patiala, SAS Nagar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, and Amritsar districts.
The sample included 250 people from each zone, and from each of the selected households, one adult above the age of 18 was randomly chosen for the survey. Overall, the seroprevalence of SARS CoV-2 antibodies was found to be 27.8 per cent in the containment zones where the highest number of COVID-19 cases had been reported.
However, in the remaining parts of the cities, the prevalence of SARS CoV-2 would be lower, and in the rural areas, the prevalence would be much lower than the urban areas, as per the report of the survey, which was aimed at finding out the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (IgM/IgG) using Rapid Antibody Testing kits.
Giving details, the state government's Health Advisory Expert Group head Dr KK Talwar said, "A team of trained field assistants and laboratory technicians collected the data under the supervision of a medical officer. ASHA/ANM facilitated the survey by identifying the households in the zone."
After explaining the purpose of the survey, written informed consent was obtained. After the interview, laboratory technicians collected venous blood sample under aseptic conditions. The blood samples were taken to the district public health laboratory for testing where rapid antibody tests were performed.