The COVID-19 pandemic has always spread faster than we can test for, and it’s all the more true in India. Outbreaks have spread faster than the scaling up of testing, tracing, isolation and all other public health efforts.
We’ve known for a while now that for every single person who has tested positive for the infection, there are several who have been infected – either with or without symptoms. Serosurveys therefore become an important tool in helping us figure out how far the infection has spread within a population. A new study on Karnataka shows that even as early as mid-August, close to half the state, about 31 million individuals, may have been infected by COVID-19. They also find that the rural spread of COVID has been almost as high as the urban spread.
Researchers Manoj Mohanan, Anu Acharya and Anup Malani help us understand and interpret their new study. Manoj Mohanan is with the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, Anup Malani is with the University of Chicago, and Anu Acharya is the CEO of Mapmygenome. They are also affiliated with the IDFC Institute, and are 3 of the 4 authors of this serosurvey of the state of Karnataka. This episode is an edited version of a live conversation on BIC Streams.
The study can be found here.