A maximum of 30 per cent people in urban hotspots and containment zones have unknowingly contracted and recovered from coronavirus, a survey of the general population has showed. The sero-survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research, the nodal body in the fight against coronavirus was carried out across 60 districts and 6 urban hotspots of the country, including Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata.
The sero-survey -- the testing of blood serum for presence of coronavirus antibodies -- was conducted across 83 districts including 10 hotspots. Scientists had lifted 500 samples from each hotspot areas and 400 samples from each non-hotspot districts. Around 30,000 samples were tested through ELISA test for antibodies.
The survey showed that the highest prevalence of the virus antibodies, in 30 per cent of the population, was found in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Ahmedabad. The lowest prevalence, as low as 0.3 per cent, was found in the rural areas under the surveyed districts.
On basis of the survey, the government said there was no community transmission of coronavirus in the country.
The concern about community transmission rose after Delhi's health minister claimed around 50 per cent of the patients who tested positive in the city had no known source of transmission.
"We say community spread when people don't know how they got the infection. There are many cases. In 50 per cent of the cases in Delhi, the source of infection is not known," Mr Jain told reporters.
Today, Dr Balram Bhargava, the chief of ICMR, who attended the government briefing on coronavirus, said the World Health Organisation "has not given a definition for the term".
"India is such a large country and the prevalence (of coronavirus) is so less, India is definitely not in the community transmission stage. We have to continue testing, tracking and quarantine measures, he added.