New Delhi: At least two-third of the population surveyed in 11 states were found to have developed coronavirus antibodies, according to the findings of a serosurvey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) done between June 14 and July 6.
This shows that two out every three people above the age of 6 in 11 states in India have already been exposed to the virus, according to the fourth round of a nationwide serological survey.
While Madhya Pradesh leads the chart with 79 per cent seroprevalence, worryingly Kerala is at the bottom with 44.4 per cent. Seroprevalence in Assam is 50.3 per cent and Maharashtra 58 per cent.
The findings of the fourth round of national serosurvey conducted by the ICMR across 70 districts of India was shared by the Union Health Ministry on July 28.
Seroprevalence was found to be 76.2 per cent among the surveyed population in Rajasthan, 75.9 per cent in Bihar, 75.3 per cent in Gujarat, 74.6 per cent in Chhattisgarh, 73.1 per cent in Uttarakhand, 71 per cent in Uttar Pradesh, 70.2 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, 69.8 per cent in Karnataka, 69.2 in Tamil Nadu and 68.1 per cent in Odisha.
Referring to the findings, the Health Ministry has advised states and union territories to conduct seroprevalence studies of their own in consultation with the ICMR to ensure that those studies follow a standardized protocol. The findings of such serosurveys can then be utilized quickly by the states to guide objective, transparent and evidence-based public health response to Covid-19.
“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 had informed on July 20.
On June 22, Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district had set a national record of vaccinating over 2 lakh people against Covid-19 in one day. This was the national record for the highest number of vaccinations in a single day for any district in the country.
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last Friday (July 23) announced the further tightening of restrictions in the state with an increase in the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in the past week. The average test positivity rate for the last week was reported 12.1 per cent. The positivity rate has been above 10 per cent in 11 districts and Malappuram district has the highest TPR of 17 per cent.
Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General in the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) during a press brief in New Delhi, had revealed that despite the seroprevalence in two-third of the population, some 40 crore people in the country remain vulnerable to the infection.
He had 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 national sero-survey by ICMR was designed to capture the extent of the spread of Covid infection at the national level. Therefore, the national serosurvey results do not reflect the heterogeneity of seroprevalence between districts and even between states,” a statement said.
(with inputs from PTI)