A new seroprevalence study conducted by the Aga Khan University (AKU) has claimed that 9 out of 10 Karachi residents afflicted with Coronavirus exhibited no symptoms of the viral infection, meaning they were asymptomatic cases.
The study carried out between April and June investigated the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in different parts of Karachi with varying community transmission rates.
According to the study, 95% of the patients who tested positive for COVID-19 through antibody tests reported no symptoms of the disease such as dry cough, high fever, and difficulty in breathing.
AKU researchers have observed that Coronavirus cases in areas with lower community transmission rates such as Ibrahim Hyderi increased from 0.2% to 8.7% between April and June.
Similarly, areas with higher community transmission rates such as Safoora Goth, Faisal Cantonment, Pehlwan Goth, Dalmia, and Shanti Nagar reported an increase of 0.4% to 15.1% in Coronavirus cases during the same period.
Unlike the developed world, Pakistan has a much higher proportion of asymptomatic cases which is why the Pakistani healthcare system did not collapse during the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak.
AKU researchers have said that the findings of the recent study are in line with the National Seroprevalence Study published last month. The National Seroprevalence Study revealed that 11% of Pakistanis had developed protective immunity against Coronavirus infection.
Dr. Imran Nisar, study’s co-investigator, has said:
The sharp increase in antibody levels in areas with low reported cases indicates that the virus spread unchecked in populations with inadequate testing rates.
AKU researchers will soon conduct two more seroprevalence studies to determine the impact of easing lockdown restrictions before Eid-ul-Azha and Muharram on the community transmission of the Coronavirus.