India said on Wednesday it had crossed 1.5 million reported cases of coronavirus after more than half a million infections had been reported in just 12 days. It took India almost six months to reach its 1 million confirmed cases.
Mumbai, India’s financial capital with a population of more than 12 million, has confirmed more than 110,000 cases, including at least 6,180 deaths, according to official statistics. The city is located in Maharashtra, India’s most affected state, with more than 377,000 confirmed cases and at least 14,000 deaths.
The study – a collaboration between local authorities and health care facilities – found that 57% of samples collected from slum dwellers tested positive for antibodies to coronavirus, while only 16% of those living outside the slums tested positive, according to a news release. Tuesday.
The researchers used antibody tests – used to check for human coronavirus in the past – to analyze more than 6,900 random samples collected from participants living in Mumbai in the first half of July.
Coronavirus in the wild
Researchers note that the high prevalence of coronavirus in slums may be due to population density and common facilities, while the lower prevalence outside slums may be due to better practices of social backwardness and hygiene.
But the authors noted that a high proportion of cases are likely to be asymptomatic, and argue that among those infected, the death rate is low – possibly up to 0.05%.
“This can be explained by effective containment efforts and active measures to isolate symptomatic cases (by the Mumbai city government),” the researchers said in a report.
One reason why a relatively high proportion of residents have been infected, despite disconnection measures, may be that people outside the slums depend on those living in the slums for such services. as gardening, cleaning and driving, said Utture Shankar, president of the Maharashtra Medical Council, which advises the government on its Covid-19 efforts.
Although samples were taken from only three wards, similar results are likely in other parts of the city when tests in these areas are completed, Shankar said.
The potential impact of coronavirus on slums in India has been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. Doctors have warned that the outbreak cannot be controlled in places where residents live with their cheekbones in small houses without running water and share toilets with several other families.
Indian officials have taken steps to limit the spread of coronavirus in slums. For example, Shankar said that the authorities take measures such as regular cleaning of the bathroom and deliver free food to slum dwellers, trying to reduce the number of people who go outside to eat.
As of Monday, there were 627 slums in Mumbai, which were active containment zones.
India is holding back efforts
Despite the growing number of confirmed cases, India is expected to further lower coronavirus restrictions in the coming days, although details have not yet been revealed.
The Indian government highlighted its success, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday pointing to broad country testing, a high recovery rate and a low death rate compared to other countries. According to government statistics, India conducted more than 17 million coronavirus tests as of Wednesday.
The government also pointed to a high rate of recovery – according to government statistics, almost 1 million people have recovered from the coronavirus. In India, patients with mild to moderate symptoms are no longer active after 10 days of symptoms if they meet certain conditions. A test to confirm that they no longer have the virus is not required. Severe cases can only be discharged after one negative coronavirus test.
However, Shankar of the Maharashtra Medical Council said Tuesday’s research showed that testing clearly did not cover all cases. Although India has done well to increase testing capacity, it needs to increase further, he said.
Last week, antibody tests on a random sample of people in the Indian capital, New Delhi, found that nearly one in four people may have been infected with the coronavirus.
Other cities around the world have conducted similar antibody studies in the past, with much lower results.
In May, Sweden said that 7.3% of people in its capital Stockholm had produced antibodies by the end of April based on 1,118 blood tests performed in one week.
In New York, sponsored by the New York State Department of Health, it was found that 14% of adults in the state had Covid-19 by the end of March, which is 10% more than the official figure.