A government survey conducted by the National Center for Disease Control and Delhi government has found, one in every four Delhiites has contacted the novel coronavirus, dwarfing the number of reported cases with a much higher possibility.
According to the BBC report, of the 21,387 people tested for the novel coronavirus in the survey from June 27th to July 10th, 23.48% of them had the antibodies, suggesting they’ve been exposed to the novel virus.
While the official number of infections recorded shows 23.48% of Delhi’s population is infected with the virus, which is 123,747 cases in a city of 19.8 million people, the survey raises questions on the validity of the reported data.
According to the Indian Medical Association, community spread is already widespread in India, and at such a level it becomes impossible to trace the spread of the virus. However, the government has previously denied such claims.
If the percentage of the people with COVID-19 antibodies in the study be converted into numbers based on the city’s estimated 19.8 million population, 23.48% of the same would translate to 4.65 million people in the city, the BBC reports.
The government press release also notes that a large number of people in Delhi continue to remain asymptomatic. CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield reflected a similar sentiment for the U.S. COVID-19 situation, where he was quoted as saying: “Our best estimate right now is that for every case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections,” referring to the thousand others who have got the antibody of the virus apart from the ones reported.
India’s capital, New Delhi has been one of the country’s COVID hotspot regions, with a chronic shortage of beds. However, the shortage was dealt with, by setting up thousands of makeshift COVID centers to quarantine and treat the city’s growing number of infected patients, in recent times.
“Containment measures need to continue with the same rigor. Besides, non-pharmacological interventions such as physical distancing, use of face mask, hand hygiene, cough etiquette must be strictly followed,” NCDC Director Sujeet Kumar Singh told The Times of India.
On Tuesday, for the first time in weeks, Delhi recorded below 1000 coronavirus infections, counting 954 fresh cases. The government claims an increased number of testing, rigorous tracing, and quick isolation has toned the number of infections down.