Antibodies in 67% population, 40 cr still vulnerable, says ICMR

50% kids exposed to virus; sero positivity high in those jabbed

Antibodies in 67% population, 40 cr still vulnerable, says ICMR

Two-thirds of the country’s population above the age of 6 have contracted the Covid-19 infection, but around 40 crore people are still vulnerable, reveals the ICMR’s latest national sero survey. - File photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 20

Two-thirds of the country’s population above the age of 6 have contracted the Covid-19 infection, but around 40 crore people are still vulnerable, reveals the ICMR’s latest national sero survey. It shows 67.6 per cent people above 6 years of age have developed antibodies to the virus, indicating past infection.

Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR

Open primary schools first

Children can handle viral infections better. Our advice will be to open primary schools first and then secondary sections.

Over half of the children surveyed were sero-positive and showed infection, with the ICMR advising the state governments to open primary schools first provided all school staffers have been fully vaccinated.

“Children can handle viral infections better. Younger children have lesser ace receptors in the lungs, which the virus uses to bind to the cells. The survey tells us that the level of exposure of children is almost the same as adults. Moreover, the Scandinavian nations didn’t close primary schools through any Covid wave. Our advice would be to open primary schools first and then the secondary sections, but all school staffers must be fully vaccinated,” said Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR.

The survey shows that a higher proportion of vaccinated people have antibodies. “The sero positivity was 62.3 per cent among the unvaccinated, 81 per cent in those with one vaccine dose and 89.8 per cent in people with both doses,” he said. The survey covered 28,975 people across 70 districts in 21 states.

30,093 fresh cases

TOTAL DEATHS 4,14,482

ACTIVE CASES 4,06,130

374 deaths in 24 hours

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