New Delhi: The fourth round of a nationwide serological survey shows two out every three people above the age of 6 in India have already been exposed to the virus but 40 crore of the country’s population remains vulnerable to the infection.
A third of the population in India does not have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and is still vulnerable to getting Covid-19 infection, said the Health Ministry’s panel during a press briefing in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Centre stressed there is no room for complacency in the fight against the pandemic.
“A third of the population did not have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which means about 40 crore people still vulnerable to Covid-19 infection,” said Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General in the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in New Delhi.
The government conducted the fourth round of national serosurvey in 70 districts in June-July which included children of 6-17 years of age. About 67.6 per cent of India’s population above 6 years were found to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in ICMR’s latest national serosurvey in June-July, informed Dr Bhargava.
“Overall seroprevalence is 67.6 per cent in the entire population. In people of 6-9 years age group, it was 57.2 per cent; in 10-17 years, it was 61.6 per cent; in 18-44 years, it was 66.7 per cent; in 45-60 years, it was 77.6 per cent, ” Dr Balram Bhargava said.
He further revealed that there was no difference in seroprevalence in male and female and rural and urban areas. In an unvaccinated population, the seroprevalence was 62.3 per cent and with one dose of vaccine, it was 81 per cent. In those who receive both doses, it was 89.8 per cent.
The Centre said that about 85 per cent of surveyed healthcare workers had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, however, one-tenth of Health acre Workers are still unvaccinated.
“We studied 7252 healthcare workers and 10 per cent had not taken the vaccine, the overall seroprevalence in them was 85.2%. In conclusion, two third of general population, that is above the age of 6 years had SARS-CoV-2 infection,” Dr Bhargava said noting the findings of the latest serosurvey.
“No deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states and union territories during the second Covid-19 wave,” the health ministry in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said on Tuesday.