Actual COVID-19 Infections In India 17 Times Higher Than Reported: BHU Study

NEW DELHI: The actual COVID-19 infections in India may be almost 17 times higher than the official figure, suggests a study led by researchers from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU). According to government data, around 4.5 crore people have been infected with COVID-19 in India so far.

However, a study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases (IJID) estimated that the actual number of coronavirus cases in the country could be between 58 to 98 crore. According to a BHU statement, research has shown that the actual corona infection in India was at least 17 times higher.

“The discrepancy observed in our study is due to the huge number of asymptomatic people, which was many times more than the actual official infection,” said BHU geneticist Professor Dnyaneshwar Choubey. “Asymptomatic cases were more inclined towards the younger population,” said Choubey, who led the study.

The study involved 88 scientists from 34 research institutes across the country. The team conducted serosurvey (antibody testing) among 2,301 individuals in urban areas of fourteen Indian districts in six states during the month of September-December 2020. The most striking aspect of this study was that a major part of the Indian population was one of the asymptomatic people. Researchers said the maximum number of people with infections and without symptoms were in the 26-35 age group.

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He added that antibody testing in people after any coronavirus wave gives an accurate assessment of actual infection. The team conducted research among a large number of street vendors living in urban areas of fourteen Indian districts, who are most at risk of corona infection. ,

For the first time, we have used a novel approach to estimate the frequency of infected people in a certain geographical area, said Prajwal Pratap Singh of BHU, first author of the study. Had any COVID symptoms or positive RT PCR test.

The minimum proportion of antibody positive persons was observed in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh (2 percent), while the maximum proportion of antibody positive persons was found in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh (47 percent). The research also showed that the cases reported by the government were many times lower than the actual cases of infection.

Researchers said that through mathematical calculations, it was estimated that the actual cases of corona in India are between 58 and 98 crores. “Comprehensive serosurveillance has enabled us to give a clearer picture than antigen testing or RT-PCR testing,” said BHU professor VN Mishra, who led the clinical trials in the study.

India recorded 96 new records on Wednesday COVID-19 cases, while the number of active cases rose to 1,785, according to the Union Health Ministry data. With the new cases, the total tally stands at 4.46 crore (4,46,83,639). The death toll rose to 5,30,746 with one death reported from Uttar Pradesh, the data said.

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(This report has been published as part of an auto-generated syndicated wire feed. No edits have been made to the copy by ABP Live except for the headline.)

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