1 in 2 Delhi NCR households surveyed now have one or more individuals with viral/COVID type symptoms; Households impacted have more than doubled in last one month
- ● In second week of August, 21% households had someone down with viral/Covid symptoms which has jumped to 50% in second week of September
September 12, 2023, New Delhi: Threat of a new COVID variant BA.2.86, nicknamed Pirola, is making waves in several countries across the globe including the USA and UK. Scientists are calling it the start of a new tree, one that is vastly different from Omicron and closer to the ancestral Alpha and Delta variants with shortness of breath and loss of smell or taste also being some of the symptoms reported. In India though, the officially reported COVID cases daily have been less than 100 for over a month as people avoid testing or at best do a rapid antigen test.
LocalCircles has been seeing citizens in Delhi and NCR circles raise concerns about viral going around over the last 3 weeks and some citizens seeking information on experiences of others. In the second week of August when LocalCircles had done a survey to gauge the magnitude of such illnesses, about 21% Delhi NCR households had indicated that they have one or more family members with viral like symptoms. With these concerns rising over the last month, LocalCircles conducted another survey to gauge whether the spread of this viral like illness has risen further. The survey received over 9,000 responses from household representatives located in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad. 61% respondents were men while 39% respondents were women.
50% of respondents from Delhi NCR indicated that one to three individuals in their household were unwell with COVID/ flu/ viral fever symptoms
As most people have stopped observing COVID protocol or getting themselves tested even at home to rule out possibility of have any of the variants, the survey asked citizens “How many individuals do you have in your household in Delhi NCR who currently have one or more COVID/ flu/ viral fever symptoms like fever, runny nose, sore throat, headache, joint pain, body ache, respiratory issues, etc.?” This query received responses from 9,389 residents of Delhi NCR with 50% indicating that one to three individuals in their household were unwell with COVID/ flu/ viral fever symptoms. Data shows that while 50% of respondents indicated that “no one, thankfully” was unwell in their household; 33% indicated that one individual in the family was unwell while 17% indicated that 2 to 3 individuals in their household were unwell with COVID/ flu/ viral fever symptoms.
Percentage of Delhi NCR households having one or more individuals with viral/COVID like symptoms rises from 21% to 50% in the last one month
Compared to a survey done a month ago in the second week of August, when 21% of respondents residing in Delhi NCR had indicated that one or more individuals in their household were down with COVID/ viral symptoms, the new survey done exactly a month after the last one has revealed that there has been a sizable jump in people who are unwell with 50% of households surveyed being affected now.
While some Doctors on LocalCircles have also indicated possibilities like swine flu and RSV being reported in addition to viral fever and COVID, the fact is that these illnesses are on the rise. With COVID impacting immunity levels of most over the last few years, there is also the possibility of people falling sick more easily now than the pre-COVID times. Given what the survey finds, the wise approach for citizens in Delhi NCR would be to mask and socially distance, atleast when aware that someone in school or office is unwell and could be source of viral transmission for others. With COVID variants like Pirola rising world over, the Government must also consider making available free RT-PCR testing to people as well as doing more genome testing. If there is a new variant of COVID circulating in Delhi NCR, it is better if it is identified sooner rather than once it has already spread at scale.
The survey received over 9,000 responses from citizens located in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad. 61% respondents were men while 39% respondents were women. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.