Published: 21st July 2021
What The FAQ: What does ICMR's new serosurvey results really mean to you?
This was the first time the survey included children. Kids from six years of age to 17 years were included in the 28,975 people who were tested
The Indian Council of Medical Research's (ICMR) fourth national serological survey has found that two-thirds of Indians above the age of six years had the COVID-19 antibodies. But that does not mean that we are safe yet. The study also found that 40 crore people are still susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. Here's everything you need to know about the survey.
What is the survey all about?
This is the fourth round of the serosurvey where the ICMR tests for antibodies. This time too the survey was conducted in the same 70 districts spread across 21 states in the country where the previous three rounds were conducted.
What was different this time?
This was the first time the survey included children. Kids from six years of age to 17 years were included in the 28,975 people who were tested.
When was the survey conducted?
The fourth edition of the survey was conducted in June-July 2021. The first three were conducted in May-June 2020, August-September 2020, and December-January (2020-2021) respectively.
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What were the most important findings?
The survey found that two-thirds of India, including children till the age of six had antibodies. “In conclusion, two-thirds of the general population that is above the age of six years had SARS-CoV-2 infection. More importantly, a third of the population did not have any antibodies… 40 crore population of this country is still vulnerable,” DG, ICMR, Dr Balram Bhargava said at the press meet. “States/districts/areas without antibodies run the risk of infection waves,” he added.
The survey has also shown that sero-prevalence has increased over the different editions of the survey and currently stands at 67.6 per cent. This is not surprising because the sero-prevalence is supposed to rise. But the findings state that the ser-prevalance was similar in both rural and urban areas.
While more than 50 per cent of the children were seropositive, the sero-prevalence among children was 57.2 per cent in the 6-9 years age group and 61.6 per cent in the age group 10-17 years.