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Bhu: Actual Covid infection in India 17 times more than official number: BHU-led study | India News



VARANASI: A study led by scientists of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has claimed that the actual number of Covid-19 infection, including unreported and asymptomatic cases, in India could be 17 times more than the official figure of 4.5 crore. The study, which involved scientists from several other institutes of the country, has been published in the prestigious science journal, ‘International Journal of Infectious Diseases (IJID).
The study, led by BHU geneticist Prof Gyaneshwer Chaubey of the department of Zoology, Institute of Science, also involved 88 scientists from 34 research institutes across the country. This team of scientists conducted serosurvey (antibody testing) among 2,301 individuals in urban areas of 14 Indian districts in six states from September to December, 2020.
Prof Chaubey said that the most striking aspect of this study was that a large proportion of the Indian population was asymptomatic for Covid-19 and the age group 26-35 had the maximum number of asymptomatic people. The researchers suggested that an antibody test in people after any Covid wave accurately assesses the actual infection.
Thus, adopting the same process, the team conducted this research among a large number of people (street vendors) living in urban areas from 14 Indian districts who were most at risk of coronavirus infection.
According to him, the samples were taken of only those who self-reported that they never had any Covid-19 symptoms or positive RT PCR test. The minimum proportion of antibody-positive people was observed in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh (2%), while the maximum proportion of antibody-positive persons was found in Ghazipur district (47%) of Uttar Pradesh.
The research suggests that the difference between the official numbers of infection and the actual possible infections, could be due to the high number of asymptomatic cases which were never reported. The study relied on mathematical modelling to arrive at the assessment. Prof. Chaubey said the value should be viewed with caution, keeping in mind the limited geographical coverage of the study.





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