40 cr Indians still vulnerable to Covid-19; 67% have antibodies, finds 4th Serosurvey - Mint

Source: Livemint

While releasing findings of the fourth national serosurvey, the Union Health Ministry today said that nearly two-thirds of the population in the country aged above six has developed antibodies against coronavirus, while 40 crore people are still vulnerable to the disease.Findings of the ICMR's 4th national Covid serosurvey show there is a ray of hope, but there is no room for complacency and Covid-appropriate behaviour has to be followed, the Centre stressed.The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted the latest survey in June-July."67.6% of India's population above 6 years found to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in ICMR's latest national serosurvey in June-July," the health ministry officials said, adding, "a third of the population did not have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which means about 40 crore people still vulnerable to Covid-19 infection.

"The government said that around 85% of the surveyed healthcare workers had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and one-tenth of HCWs were still unvaccinated.The survey covered 28,975 general population and 7,252 healthcare workers.The fourth round of the national serosurvey was conducted in 70 districts in June-July and included children of 6-17 years of age to assess their vulnerability towards Covid-19, ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava said.The ICMR DG also said that the survey found that over 50% of children aged 6-17 years have been exposed to Covid-19 and developed antibodies against it.The highest seroprevalence was found in the age group 45-60 years (77.6%), followed by those above 60 years (76.
7%) and those in the age group 18-44 years (66.7%).In this survey, children were divided into two age groups -- 6-9 years and 10-17 years. Sero-prevalence in the 6-9 years category was 57.2% and in the 10-17 years category, it was 61.6%.Stressing observance of Covid-19-appropriate behaviour, the health ministry said that social, religious and political congregations should be avoided and non-essential travels should be discouraged.
"Travel only if fully vaccinated," it added.The ICMR also suggested that it would be wise to consider reopening primary schools first as children can handle viral infection much better."Children can handle viral infection much better as they have lower number of ace receptors. So once the decision is taken and all the staff vaccinated, it would be wise to open primary schools first," it said.Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint.
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