9 out of 10 Indians now have 1 or more contacts in their social network who have had COVID-19
- ● Percentage of citizens who have now 5 or more COVID positive cases in their network now at 60%
- ● In 7 months, over 12X increase in number of people with a COVID positive case in their network
COVID-19 Impact: 88% citizens now have one or more Covid positive case in their social network; In 7 months, over 12X increase in number of people with a COVID-19 case in their social network
November 25, 2020, New Delhi: The novel coronavirus is proving to be an all-season virus – from winter, spring, summer monsoon to autumn with no sign of relief from the disease any time soon. The virus in nine months of the pandemic has already infected more than 90 lakh citizens of India. With festival season just gone by, many parts of India observed overcrowding of markets for festive shopping and festive socialising. In North Indian cities, the pollution also had its impact and all of this has led to a surge in COVID-19 cases as well death rate. Delhi alone for instance is reporting 6000-8000 cases a day and 100-130 daily COVID deaths.
LocalCircles also observed an increase in citizen posts suggesting that COVID-19 cases are continuing to increase but many people are refraining from reporting their symptoms and getting tested. Many instances were also reported where after 1 person at home tested positive, the reluctance to isolate or get admitted due to the festival season and then eventually leading to the entire family getting infected. In such cases while only 1 person added to the official COVID-19 case count, 4-6 individuals actually had COVID and could have spread it even further.
To understand the extent of spread bottoms up, LocalCircles conducted a survey which received more than 9,000 responses from citizens across 208 districts of India. Of which, 66% respondents were men while 34% respondents were women. It received 58% responses from tier 1, 23% from tier 2, and 18% were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. Also, the extent of COVID-19 spread in social networks and the depth of spread was compared to previously conducted surveys on the subject to understand change over time.
Majority of us now know an individual or individuals infected with COVID-19 in our social networks. The survey asked, “How has COVID-19 impacted your social network (family, extended family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, business associates, etc) including yourself in the last 8 months?”, responses from 9,171 citizens were received. Of which, 28% said they know 5-10 individuals, 26% said they know 1-4 individuals, 19% said they know more than 20 individuals, 13% said they know 11-20 individuals in their network who have had COVID-19.
88% citizens now have 1 or more contacts in their social network who has had COVID-19
In 7 months, over 12X increase in number of people with a COVID-19 case in their social network
Notably, 88% citizens now have 1 or more contacts in their social network who have had COVID-19. In a similar survey published in September, the percentage stood at 77%, and 31% and 7% in July and May respective surveys. The comparative results per these surveys indicate that in 7 months there has been over 12X jump in the number of people with COVID-19 cases in their social network.
Percentage of citizens who have more than 5 or more individuals in their social network infected by COVID
After comparing the latest results of November with a similar survey published in September, there has been a 29% rise in the number of citizens reporting 5 or more individuals in their social network who have had COVID-19.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducts sero-survey to know the prevalence of COVID-19 within communities. As a data point, the sero-survey data for Delhi released a few weeks ago indicated that 25% of the population had prevalence of antibodies against COVID-19. With 88% citizens saying that they have 1 or more individuals in their network, it confirms that COVID-19 continues to penetrate social networks of people at a fast pace. Though there is good news on the vaccine front, with 3 companies announcing encouraging trial results, a vaccine for most Indians is still 6-12 months away. With the onset of winter, the spread is likely to worsen as many global studies indicate that the virus is more persistent in cooler temperatures and that the droplets travel longer distances than the 6 feet social distance recommended.
LocalCircles will share the findings of this report with relevant Government stakeholders so any actions that will reduce the COVID-19 spread in the coming weeks or make reporting and tracking of COVID-19 more accurate can be taken.
9000+ responses were received from citizens across 208 districts of India. 66% respondents were men while 34% respondents were women. 58% respondents were from tier 1, 23% from tier 2 and 18% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. 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.