According to the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) third national serosurvey, at least one in five (21 per cent) Indians aged over 18 years have been exposed to Covid-19.
The survey is based on the testing of antibody samples from 28,589 people between December 17 and January 8,
The released data represent the prevalence of antibodies, read as confirmation that the individual has had Covid-19.
“Delhi was not a part of the survey. We have made statistical extrapolations so we can say that 21.4 per cent of Indians were seropositive,” said Balram Bhargava, general director of ICMR.
At 21.4 per cent, the third survey found a substantial increase in prevalence among adults, up from 7.1 per cent during the second survey in August. A mere 0.7 per cent prevalence was found in the first survey conducted in April.
The new survey was conducted in 700 villages in 70 districts across 21 states between December 17 and January 8, where the first and second were conducted in April and August respectively. Seroprevalence was 25.7% among healthcare workers, with 26.6% among doctors and nurses.
Here is what you need to know about the outcome of the survey
- Experts said the findings indicate that the virus remains susceptible to a large proportion of the nation, almost 80 per cent.
- Seroprevalence was 25.3% in children between the ages of 10 and 17, and a prevalence of 23.4% was seen in people over the age of 60.
- The results published on Thursday are from the third round of ICMR pan-India surveys. It was carried out in the same 700 villages, 70 districts from 21 states selected during the first and second survey rounds.
- With a seroprevalence of 26.6 per cent, doctors and nurses were most affected, followed by paramedical staff (25.4 percent), field staff (25.3 percent), and administration staff (24.9 per cent).
- 28,589 individuals were screened for antibodies to Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 in the general population. In addition, there were also 7,171 healthcare staff covered. For each district covered in the region, the second category included a hundred healthcare workers each from taluk hospitals, community health centres, primary health centres, etc.
- Compared to men, more women had antibodies, with a prevalence rate of 22.7 per cent and 20.3 per cent.
- The prevalence of urban slums (31.7 per cent) was greater in the general population, followed by non-urban slums (26.2 per cent) and rural areas (31.7 per cent) (19.1 per cent).
- The seroprevalence was 25.7 per cent among healthcare workers.
- A rapid leap from the previous rounds reflects the numbers.
- The first serosurvey was carried out in the period May-June 2020. It demonstrated a seroprevalence of 0.73 per cent.
- The second one (August-September) showed a 6.6 per cent overall prevalence.
- A serological test is intended to detect whether a person has Sars-CoV-2 antibodies that would suggest a previous infection.
- With a large population remaining susceptible to the virus, vaccination, along with Covid-19, is the key to avoiding the spread of the virus.
- In the past 18 days, over 4.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have already been distributed nationally.
- Of the approximately 9.7 million healthcare staff eligible for a jab against Covid-19, approximately 45% have so far received the first dose of the vaccine.