No, coronavirus transmission hasn’t slowed down! Why ICMR is worried over latest sero survey findings

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February 05, 2021 1:23 PM

The nationwide serological survey conducted has suggested that one out of every five Indians may have been exposed to the Coronavirus and there a large number of people still susceptible to get the infection.

fresh covid cases,The sero survey data done this time also recorded a higher number of COVID-19 cases in children and this is a significant change when compared to the second sero survey done in India.

The nationwide serological survey conducted has suggested that one out of every five Indians may have been exposed to the Coronavirus and there a large number of people still susceptible to get the infection. The government in regard with this data highlighted the need for vaccination in the country. Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that the main takeaway from the survey is that there is still a large number of people who are vulnerable and vaccinated against the infection has become necessary. ICMR has also reiterated that prevention is crucial and much needed at this point.

In the survey conducted between May 11 and June 4 last year, the seroprevalence was just 0.7 per cent. This increased and was recorded at 7.1 per cent at the time the second sero survey was conducted between August 17 and September 22, 2020.The third nationwide sero survey between December 17, 2020 and January 8 this year. The survey indicated overall seroprevalence to be recorded at 21.5 per cent. It is to note that these indications are based on the people who have been surveyed. The sero survey data done this time also recorded a higher number of COVID-19 cases in children and this is a significant change when compared to the second sero survey done in India.

Seroprevalence of 25.3 per cent in people belonging to the age group 10-17. The same was 19.9 per cent among people who are 18-44 years old and around 23.4 per cent among surveyed people belonging to 45-60-year-old groups and those above 60 years. The highest exposure has been seen in the urban slums with 31.7 per cent people suffering from the novel Coronavirus infection. In rural, this percentage is relatively lower as only 19.1 per cent people were exposed to the infection.

It is to note that serological surveys look for the presence of virus-specific antibodies in participants that are randomly chosen and can indicate the extent of transmission at a community level. The report highlighted that in terms of COVID-19 caseload, majority states in India apart from Maharashtra and Kerala have been faring well. Even the national fatality rate/ numbers and active cases have come down and have been falling.

To be sure, as many as 28,589 people apart from 7,171 healthcare workers were a part of the recent serosurvey conducted in India. Same 700 villages and wards in 70 districts from 21 states which became a part of the first and second sero survey, were taken in account for the third one as well.IGg antibody against S1 Receptor Binding Domain has been used for conducting tests.

In females, the prevalence of infection was recorded at 22.7 per cent as compared to 20.3 per cent among males. Overall seroprevalence of 25.7 per cent was seen among healthcare workers with 26.6 per cent of this in doctors/nurses, 25.4 per cent of this among paramedical staff.

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