With coronavirus cases receding and despite achieving record recovery rate against the virus, a third sero survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research has revealed that more than 21.5 per cent of Indians above the age of 18 showed evidence of being exposed to the Covid-19.
The survey collected samples of 28,589 people for antibodies between December 17, 2020 and January 8, 2021. The prevalence rate among the health care workers is 25.7 per cent, after the blood samples of 7,171 workers were collected.
While the prevalence rate was 25.3 per cent among the children aged between 10 to 17, a rate of 23.4 per cent was found among those above 60.
The third national sero survey was presented by the ICMR director general Dr Balram Bhargava, who said the prevalence rate was higher in Urban slums (31.7 per cent) and urban non-slums (26.2 per cent) followed by rural areas (19.1 per cent).
He also added that a large portion of Indian population are susceptible to getting the infection.
The results represented a sharp jump from the previous rounds, where the first survey (conducted doing May-June 2020) showed 0.73% sero prevalence, while the second one (August-September, 2020) showed overall prevalence of 6.6%.
The survey was conducted in the same locations during the first and second rounds consisting of 700 villages or wards in 70 districts in 21 states selected.
India’s cumulative positivity rate is 5.42 per cent and declining.
The survey shows women had more antibodies compared to men, with a prevalence rate of 22.7% and 20.3% respectively.
The health ministry informed 47 districts have not reported any new case of Covid-19 and 251 districts have not registered any new deaths in the last three weeks.
So far, 49,93,427 beneficiaries have been vaccinated in the country out of which 11 states and Union Territories, including Tamil Nadu, Assam, Ladakh, Chandigarh, Meghalaya and Manipur, have covered 30 per cent or less healthcare workers through the Covid-19 vaccination, it said.