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Nearly half of the Karnataka's population may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus by August, which is 100 times more than the official figures, a seroprevalence survey carried out by Mumbai-based IDFC Institute said.
The study revealed that at least 44.1 per cent of the population in rural areas and 53.8 per cent in urban areas were exposed to the infection, and as a result, they developed antibodies.
The institute collected samples from 20 districts between June 15 - August 29. The adjusted seroprevalence across Karnataka was 46.7 per cent, The News Minute reported.
According to the state government's pre-print research paper, around 3.15 crore residents have been infected with COVID, which is 96.4 times the number of cases publicly confirmed (327,076) as of August. The number of residents was based on the government mid-year 2020 population estimates.
Anup Malani, who was part of the study, told the media that the data showed high levels of active infections and transmission in Karnataka, especially in urban areas of Mysuru and coastal districts. COVID has affected rural areas as severely as urban areas.
The study quotes the migration of workers from cities to villages following the March lockdown as one reason for the spread in rural areas. Besides, leniency with coronavirus guidelines due to agricultural and economic activities contributed as another factor.
The study also laid down a couple of recommendations that can be taken up by the government, including an increase in testing, avoiding total relaxation of norms that might lead to a surge in cases, instead continue the effort to promote social distancing and other norms.
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