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Delhi: 9 out of 10 people with Covid symptoms missing official data, survey finds

A survey by digital community platform LocalCircles has revealed that almost sixty-three percent of people residing in and around the Delhi-NCR region have not taken any tests, despite experiencing Covid-like symptoms.

The survey further indicated that 9 out of 10 Delhi NCR residents with symptoms are missing from the officially reported case figures as they either skip Covid test or opt for home antigen test. The survey found that among those who had Covid symptoms in Delhi-NCR in the last 30 days, only 12% had an RT-PCR.

The survey was conducted within the last 30 days. A questionnaire was given to people as part of the survey, which received 10,821 responses. While 67% of respondents were men, 33% were women, he said in a statement.

Some of the survey questions included – “In the past month, when you or your family members in Delhi-NCR had symptoms and required a Covid test (excluding travel), and what type of test did you undertake?” In response to this question, none of the respondents said only RT-PCR, he said.

The survey found that 33% of people with symptoms had had RT-PCR in April and that proportion had fallen to 16% in June and 12% in August.

While 25% of respondents said they had opted for the rapid antigen test, 12%’s response was “both RT-PCR and rapid antigen test”, he said.

However, 63% of residents said they had not taken any of these tests despite having symptoms, LocalCircles said in the statement.

The findings of the study come at a time when Covid cases in Delhi have increased significantly over the past week or so.

Delhi reported 2,423 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday with a positivity rate of 14.97%, the highest since Jan. 22, while two more people died from the viral illness, according to department data. of health.

On January 22, the positivity rate was 16.4%.

It was the fifth day in a row that the number of daily cases remained above 2,000. The positivity rate on Sunday had remained above 10% for seven consecutive days.

The nation’s capital had recorded 2,668 cases and 13 deaths as of February 3.

“Community feedback indicates that two out of three people are simply not being tested and not taking treatment based on symptoms, and about a third are taking a rapid home antigen test.

“Of these, 37% who take the rapid home antigen test, 12% revalidate it with an RT-PCR test,” the statement said.

The survey also pointed out that the factors that emerged in the survey point to an urgent need for the authorities of Delhi and NCR cities and the Union Health Department to find other ways to tracking the extent and spread of Covid.

A lower number of RT-PCR tests also indicates the availability of fewer samples for genomic testing to understand which variants are circulating in India. With only 10% of people showing symptoms in Delhi-NCR, the genome test will have no visibility on 9 out of 10 samples.

“If the same testing rates are assumed for the rest of the country, the big risk is the inability to keep up with the pandemic and discover a new variant only when hospital admissions start to increase. By then, it may be too late,” the survey read.

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