BHUBANESWAR: At a time when the daily average Covid-19 tally in Bhubaneswar has crossed 500, 95 per cent of the population is still susceptible to the virus. Only a meagre 5.15 per cent of the sampled population in the city has developed anti-bodies against coronavirus, the latest sero-survey conducted by the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) has revealed.
Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials who assisted RMRC in the survey said the prevalence of anti-bodies among a low percentage of people indicates that there has been no significant community transmission in the city yet.
Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary said as the infection rate has remained low, residents are required to remain more cautious and follow the Covid-19 guidelines and social distancing protocols strictly to prevent the spread.
The second round of sero survey is being conducted in the city in two phases. A total 1,320 blood samples were drawn from community at 25 different locations in the first phase on August 28 and 29, while another 1,000 samples will be collected from high-risk groups including health workers, sanitation workers and police in the second phase shortly.
The survey conducted to analyse community transmission and prevalence of antibody among the general population, however, has not found any significant rise in the number persons who have been exposed to the virus compared to the first round of survey in July during which the community exposure level in the city was as low as 1.42 per cent.
The Municipal Commissioner said spread of the virus in the city was relatively low because of the strong enforcement measures taken by the civic body and the awareness drive launched by BMC to encourage people to wear mask and maintain social distancing.
The infection rate, though, has been rapidly increasing in the city. Bhubaneswar which recorded the highest single-day spike of 580 cases on Thursday, registered 550 new cases in the last 24 hours pushing its Covid-19 tally to 12,403. This includes 31 media personnel, 18 bank staff and eight reserve police personnel who were in quarantine after coming in contact with persons tested positive earlier.
As many as 307 persons including 11 persons from Kela slum in Nayapalli were also infected from unknown sources. The Covid-19 death toll also increased to 46 after one more person succumbed to the infection in this period.
The Municipal Commissioner said more cases are being detected after the civic body ramped up its testing capacity to around 3,500 in the recent days. “This will help us detect and isolate more number of people infected with the virus to contain its spread effectively,” he said.