Experts reveal reasons India’s Covid-19 cases are declining even though vaccination isn’t yet 50 percent

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Director of Infectious Diseases WHO Southeast Asia for 2018-2020, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, revealed the cause of the case Covid-19 in India, as in Indonesia, the decline persisted although the vaccination coverage was still below 50 percent. An analysis of why the case is still small, in his opinion, is that quite a number of people have antibodies against SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

“Data from late October 2021 show 97 percent of the population” New Delhi already have antibodies to a certain extent, either because they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have contracted it naturally, “he said in a written statement dated Monday, November 22, 2021.

This 97 percent positive report is the sixth survey conducted in New Delhi, India. The previous numbers showed a gradual increase, starting at 22.8 percent in July 2020; was still 28.7 percent in August 2020; then 25.1 percent in September 2020; 25.5 percent in October; and 56.13 percent in January 2021.

In addition to periodic surveys, there are also fairly large-scale surveys, like that of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which found that the seropositivity rate in New Delhi at the height of the last wave was 67 percent. As well as a survey by the Council of Science and Industrial Research in New Delhi, which showed a seroprevalence of 80 percent some time after the peak.

“In survey antibody In the sixth New Delhi, some samples will be more closely examined for the level of antibodies formed so that the level of protection that exists in the community is better known, “said Tjandra, who is also a professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia (FKUI) .

In addition to New Delhi, there is a similar survey in India’s largest business city, Mumbai / Bombay. The results of the fifth survey in this region show that antibodies to Covid-19 were found in 90.26 percent of those who were vaccinated and 79.86 percent of those who were not vaccinated.

“If you combine the data, antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus are already present in 86.64 percent of the population of the city of Mumbai, 85.07 percent in men and 88.29 percent in women,” he said.

According to the Postgraduate Director of YARSI University in Jakarta, there are several pointers about conditions in India. First, he said, India has been conducting antibody surveys of its population on a regular basis since last year, as many as six times in New Delhi and five times in Mumbai, in addition to those of other health institutions.

Second, it turns out that antibody levels against Covid-19 are already very high in the two largest cities, around 97 percent in New Delhi and 87 percent in Mumbai. The high number of people who already have these antibodies can be linked to India’s success in keeping its current Covid-19 case low.

Tjandra suggested that it would be better if Indonesia, at least in several large cities, also regularly conducts a Covid-19 antibody survey of its population. “Indeed, several surveys of this type have been reported, but it will be better if they continue to improve and the results are analyzed from time to time,” said Tjandra, adding that progress is evident.

In addition, it would be better if some samples had a more detailed analysis of the concentrations and types of antibodies present, as was the case in New Delhi. This is because the data from the antibody survey can be used as an important component to analyze the presence or absence of the third wave. “Or at least if and how much if there is a spike in cases after the Christmas and New Year holidays next month.”

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