ICMR Sero Survey: Two-thirds of Indians Exposed to Covid.

The latest serological survey conducted nationwide by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found that up to two-thirds of the country’s population who are above the age of six have already been infected with the Coronavirus.

 

Highlights of the survey

  • The fourth serosurvey was conducted in the months of June and July, after the second wave had began to subside.
  • 28,975 people were tested for the presence of SARS-CoV2 virus antibodies and 67.6% returned a positive result.
  • For the first time, minors belonging to the 6 to 17 years age group were also included in the serosurvey. Nearly half of those tested were found having antibodies.
  • With two-thirds of the population has already been infected and with the sero-prevalence found to be similar in urban and rural areas has greatly reduced the possibility of a third wave being as severe as the second wave was.
  • Also, since at least one vaccination dose has been received by 32 crore people there would be a considerable overlap between those vaccinated and those who were infected, but the two figures put together mean that over 70% of the population over the age of six are expected to have developed some sort of immunity.

 

Importance of the serosurvey

The fourth sero-survey findings are significant because it dissipates some worries regarding the third wave. This report will also help the government plan its gradual opening up process. ICMR says on the basis of the survey that unless the virus mutates further and begins to re-infect people the chances of a repeat of a second wave are slim. Still it does not rule out, localised surges in villages, districts or states. Looking at the national level, a 40 crore vulnerable population still leaves a fair chance for surges like the first wave, or smaller. The Director General of ICMR Dr Balram Bhargava has warned that the epidemic is far from over and people should take necessary precautions.

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