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Many Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic with no need for hospitalisation, say CCMB study

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on August 19, 2020

The country has coped reasonably well despite the high number of infections, says the study   -  Nagara Gopal@thehindu

The CSIR lab conducted a study by collecting sewage samples

A large proportion of the Covid-19 affected people are asymptomatic and did not need hospitalisation, according to the findings of a latest study by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).

The Hyderabad-based CSIR Lab conducted a novel study using sewage samples in the city as a tool for Covid-19 surveillance.

Individuals who are infected by SARS-CoV-2 shed virus not only through nasal and oral routes but also through faeces. This provides an opportunity to use sewage/wastewater samples to estimate the spread of the infection in a given locality or area.

The study revealed that a large proportion of the Covid-19 affected individuals are asymptomatic and did not need hospitalisation.

“This is also in agreement with the observation that hospitalisation rush or mortality is way lower than otherwise expected with such a large infection rates at a given time,” said Rakesh Mishra, Director, CCMB, in a release on Wednesday.

It explains why our healthcare system has been able to handle reasonably well the situation during the pandemic.

“Such studies, if carried out in coordination with civic bodies to identify the hotspots in the city and monitor the dynamics of the infection rate, can assist the system in taking necessary measures,” Mishra said.

The SARS-CoV-2 in sewage samples is non-infectious, thus making sewage samples suitable for epidemiological studies.

Estimating the spread is very important in identifying the affected areas, and controlling the pandemic, he said.

Since an infected person sheds viral material in faecal samples for up to 35 days, these studies will provide an overall estimate of the situation in a window of one month.

All the experiments were conducted at the CCMB Covid-19 testing facility and the teams included Hemalatha Manupati, Kopperi Harishankar and SVenkata Mohan from CSIR-IICT and Uday Kiran, CG Gokulan, Santosh Kumar Kuncha and Rakesh K Mishra from CSIR-CCMB.

Published on August 19, 2020

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