A sero survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to estimate the sero-prevalence of the novel coronavirus infection in West Bengal reveals a higher number of antibodies in the population of Kolkata than in other districts.

The sero-prevalence is the level of a pathogen in a population, as measured in blood serum.

A June 26 letter, written by ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava to West Bengal Health Secretary Narayan Swaroop Nigam, reveals that of the 396 samples in Kolkata, 57 tested positive, taking the “unweighted prevalence” to 14.39% in the city. In South 24 Parganas, only 10 of the 400 samples tested positive, indicating a prevalence of 2.5%.

In districts such as Bankura and Jhargram, only one of the 400 samples tested positive.

Four and three samples were found positive in Alipurduar and Purba Medinipur, respectively.

Experts say the study shows that the infection is rising in Kolkata at a higher pace than in other districts.

Kolkata accounted for a third of all cases in the State and about 57% of the deaths. Of the 16,711 cases and 629 deaths reported till June 27, in the State, Kolkata accounted for 5,402 cases and 359 deaths.

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