COVID network prevalence growth in Delhi-NCR likely slowed week-over-week from 100% to 60%
- ● However, increase in network prevalence depth is reported as 9% residents (no one last week) now have 6 or more people in their close social network who have had COVID in last 15 days, indicating that more people in same family, friends, offices may be getting infected.
- ● 31% Delhi-NCR residents now have 1 or more individuals in their close network impacted in last 15 days, whereas, last week 19% had indicated the same
- ● Mask mandate coming back and its compliance are likely slowing transmission, along with likely BA.2.12.1 sub-lineage impeded by antibodies from original Omicron wave in January
April 25th, 2022, New Delhi: In what may be a bit of first good news amid rising COVID cases in Delhi-NCR this April, the latest LocalCircles COVID network prevalence survey concluded on April 23rd has indicated that the week-over-week growth of COVID in Delhi-NCR amongst local social networks may be slowing. The survey has found that while COVID is still rising in Delhi-NCR, its prevalence amongst local social networks has increased by only 60% this week after an over 100% increase the previous week. Overall, the network prevalence of COVID in Delhi-NCR grew from 3% of people having 1 or more positive cases (15 day period) in close local networks on April 2nd to 31% now having 1 or more positives (15 day period). The number has risen from 3% on April 2nd to 9% on April 9th, to 19% on April 16th and now to 31% on April 23rd. Delhi reported over 1000 cases on April 24th with a test positivity rate (TPR) of 4.64% and the R value has been hovering around 2.1 week for Delhi indicating 1 infected person may be transmitting the virus to 2.1 individuals. The NCR cities of Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and Ghazaibad have been reporting around 500 cases cumulatively. These daily reports are only indicative though as many people are opting for at-home tests rather than getting a lab RT-PCR test done.
With cases rising, three State Governments have issued guidelines to be followed in schools, and the best thing is that, on the demand of the public and experts, all of them have brought back the mask mandates they had removed effective April 1st. Meanwhile, at the time India has reopened commercial international flights from March 27th, scientists from around the world are reporting new variants every day. The genomic sequencing data for India as on April 16th, 2022, suggested that 80% of the cases may be of the BA.2.10 and BA.2.12 almost split evenly. Many experts in India are suspecting that the April surge in Delhi-NCR may have been led by BA.2.12.1 sub-variant, which is also leading to a surge in New York.
Given that most people are taking rapid antigen tests at home, or not taking a test at all despite having symptoms, LocalCircles again conducted its network prevalence survey this week to better understand the COVID case surge. The survey received inputs from 10,322 residents located in all districts of Delhi and NCR where 64% of the respondents were men and 36% were women. The survey asked respondents about the number of individuals including children in their close local social network who had COVID in the last 15 days.
31% residents of Delhi-NCR say they have 1 or more individuals in their close social network who has had COVID in the last 15 days
The survey asked residents of Delhi, “How many individuals (including children) do you have in your close social network (family, friends, neighbours, colleagues) in Delhi-NCR that have had COVID in the last 15 days?” In response, the majority, 52% of Delhi residents said “No one in the last 15 days”. Breaking down the poll, 5% said “More than 10”, 4% said “6-10”, 9% said “3-5”, and 13% said “1 or 2”. 17% couldn’t say. The findings indicate that 31% of residents of Delhi-NCR say they have 1 or more individuals in their close social network who has had COVID in the last 15 days. This question in the survey received 10,322 responses.
COVID network prevalence in Delhi-NCR rises by over 60% within a week with 31% now having 1 or more in their close network impacted
The same COVID network prevalence survey on April 16th had 19% of Delhi-NCR residents who indicated having 1 or more individuals in their close local social network who had COVID in the last 15 days. This percentage has risen by over 60% within a week with 31% now having 1 or more in their close network impacted. While this clearly indicates COVID cases are still rising in Delhi-NCR, it also indicates that the rise is likely not exponential as the weekly network prevalence increase of 100% during the week of April 9-16 has reduced to 60% during the week of April 16-23. This is good news for Delhi-NCR.
With the mask mandate back and its compliance by people is likely slowing the COVID-19 transmission, along with likely BA.2.12.1 and BA.2.10 sub-lineages being impeded by antibodies from original Omicron wave in January this year. However, it must be noted that while the spread in local social networks in Delhi-NCR is slowing, the depth has risen. While none of the respondents had indicated in April 16th survey that they had over 5 individuals in their close network in Delhi-NCR having COVID in the last 15 days, in the April 23rd data 9% of respondents have said that they have over 6 individuals impacted with COVID in the last 15 days. Out of this 9%, 5% of respondents said that they know over 10 individuals who have gotten infected with COVID in the last 15 days. The findings on depth may be inferred as more people in the same family, friends group or offices may be getting infected.
Overall, 31% of residents of Delhi-NCR have said that they have 1 or more individuals in their close social network who has had COVID in the last 15 days as compared to the 19% who said this on April 16th. While this is a 60% weekly increase in network prevalence, it indicates that COVID is slowing as a 100% increase was found in weekly network prevalence as reported on April 16th. However, the increase in depth indicates that those who are infected may be infecting their family, friends, colleagues, etc.
The key here for residents of Delhi-NCR is to follow masking and social distancing norms in the coming weeks such that the transmissibility can be reduced. The need of the hour is for Delhi and NCR authorities to strongly enforce masking protocols in public places and prevent any crowding. Any indoor and outdoor events that are planned for the coming weeks bringing together 100 or more people must be considered for rescheduling.
The survey received inputs from 10,322 residents located in all districts of Delhi and NCR where 64% of the respondents were men and 36% were women. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.