Hyderabad has highest COVID-19 positivity rate in country: CSIR study

Hyderabad: In a first of its kind pan-India survey on COVID-19, tracking as many as its 10,427 employees, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) found that Hyderabad has the highest positivity rate for contracting COVID-19.

Hyderabad registered 18 per cent positivity, with as many as 2,073 of the entire sample size tested. The second highest sero-positivity was registered in Chennai (16 per cent, followed by Delhi (14 per cent).

In Hyderabad, 2,073 people were positive for COVID-19 in the CSIR’s sample size.

“These can be used a proxy for future infection trends,” said Dr. Anurag Agarwal, Director of CSIR-IGIB.

The report titled ‘Insights from a Pan India Sero-Epidemiological survey (Phenome-India Cohort) for SARS-CoV2’ was published in the peer-reviewed journal MedrXiv.

Further, the serosurvey report notes that herd immunity “does not seem to be in sight”, and that an effective vaccine may be necessary to control the pandemic. It found that the antibody levels were mostly stable at three months, but observed to start declining by six months, although the levels were still above the detection threshold.

The study also found that smoking and vegetarianism are associated with lower chances of contracting the virus. It did not go into scientific details of why and how beyond reporting the observations. Use of public transport, lower-exposure occupations, having A or O positive types of blood also appeared to be protective.