: Close to 20 per cent of the
5.34 crore population in Andhra Pradesh has acquired immunity to COVID-19, a Sero prevalence study has revealed.
The Sero survey was conducted in two phases last month with a sample size of 5,000 in each of the 13 districts, establishing that 19.7 per cent of people developed antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, the infection-causing virus.
Disclosing the survey findings, AP Commissioner for Health and Family Welfare Katamaneni Bhaskar said 22.5 per cent population in urban areas and 18.2 per cent in rural acquired immunity for Covid-19.
Of the total surveyed, 19.9 women and 19.5 per cent men developed antibodies, he told a press conference on Thursday evening.
Among the high-risk population (40+ age group and those with comorbidities), 20.3 per cent acquired immunity.
Interestingly, the survey revealed that 90 to 100 per cent of the positives were asymptomatic.
Chittoor district turned out 100 per cent asymptomatic, Anantapuramu 99.5 per cent, Krishna 99.4 per cent, Guntur and Srikakulam 98.5 per cent each and Kurnool 98.3 per cent.
Prakasam, which is on a steep ascent, showed 90.9 per cent of the positive cases to be asymptomatic.
"Sero surveillance provides estimates of antibody levels against infectious diseases and is considered a gold standard for measuring population immunity.
We have completed one round of surveillance in all districts in two phases," Bhaskar said.
SPS Nellore had the lowest levels of Sero prevalence at 8.2 per cent, West Godavari 12.3 per cent, Prakasam 17.6 per cent.
These three districts have been witnessing a steep rise in coronavirus cases over the past few days.
East Godavari, the state topper with over 72,000 cases and one of the highest infected in the country, had a Sero prevalence of 14.4 per cent.
The district has been adding cases in excess of 1,000 per day for the past few weeks.
Vizianagaram, which was the last district in the state to report a Covid-19 case, had the highest 30.6 per cent Sero prevalence, according to the survey report.
Kurnool, once the major hotbed in the state, showed a prevalence of 28.1 per cent.
"We hope the spread of infection will now be lower in these districts where the population showed a higher growth of antibodies.
The survey will help us understand the spread of infection and plan the management, including targeting of tests to yield better results," Bhaskar said.
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