86.64% Mumbaiites have Covid antibodies, 5th sero survey of 8,674 samples reveals

Of the 8,674 samples collected for the Covid antibody sero survey, approximately 50% Mumbaiites were from slum areas and 50% were from non-slum areas
The fifth sero survey was started by BMC on August 12 across all 24 administrative wards in Mumbai. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
The fifth sero survey was started by BMC on August 12 across all 24 administrative wards in Mumbai. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 17, 2021 10:14 PM IST
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By Eeshanpriya MS, Mumbai

Overall, 86.64% of Mumbaiites have Covid-19 antibodies out of 8,674 samples tested in the fifth sero-survey conducted by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The results of the survey were declared by the civic body on Friday. The fifth sero survey was started by BMC on August 12 across all 24 administrative wards in the city.

Its results have indicated that 90.2% of fully or partially vaccinated citizens had antibodies, and 79.8% of those who were not vaccinated had antibodies. Sero-prevalence in slums is 87%, while in non-slums it is 86%. About 65% of the sample size was citizens who have been fully or partially vaccinated, and 35% of the sample size were citizens who have not been vaccinated yet, according to BMC. This is significant in the context of the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic. The presence of antibodies in a significant number of surveyed population means the city might handle the next wave in a better way.

Of the 8,674 samples collected, approximately 50% were from slum areas and 50% were from non-slum areas.

The results of the latest survey indicate almost equal sero-prevalence among Mumbaiites living in slum and non-slum areas, contrary to the results of the first three surveys, which shows a relatively higher sero-prevalence among residents of slums. The fourth was a sero-survey for the paediatric age group.

Sero prevalence studies are conducted to understand past exposure of an individual to a virus and to know the extent of the spread of infection in the population, with the prevalence of antibodies.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner incharge of BMC’s public health department said, “The results of this fifth sero-survey are promising. However, this does not mean we can let our guards down. We must strictly adhere to safety protocols in public places, wear masks, maintain social distancing. This survey was a significant one as it was conducted across all 24 wards in the city.”

A senior civic officer from BMC’s public health department said, “Since there is greater sero-prevalence among those who have been fully or partially vaccinated, it appears promising as the number of fully vaccinated citizens is increasing by the day.”

While 85.07% sero-prevalence was noted among males, it was higher among females, at 88.29%. Around 20% of the samples were collected from healthcare workers, and the results show that 87.14% sero-prevalence among them.

In a statement on Friday, BMC said, “There is no statistical difference in sero-prevalance in the island city and in Mumbai’s suburbs. The results correspond with the recent trend in cases in Mumbai observed by BMC. However, this in no way indicates the level of immunity to the virus among citizens.”

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Saturday, October 23, 2021