1 in 15 Indians estimated to be exposed to COVID; over 90% still susceptible: ICMR survey

Govt asks people to mask up for the festive and winter season, says respiratory viruses like winters

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 29 

One in 15 individuals over the age of 10 years were estimated to have been exposed to COVID-19 causing SARS-CoV-2 by August 2020, the second sero survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research has found.

A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a swab sample from a woman, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease, in New Delhi. Reuters

Chief of the ICMR Balram Bhargava on Tuesday said the second sero survey collected blood samples from 29,082 individuals across the same 700 villages and urban wards from 70 districts in 21 states which were covered in the first survey.

“The prevalence of COVID-19 among individuals aged 10 years plus was found to be 6.6 per cent. The prevalence was not different by age group and gender. Urban slum showed the highest risk gradient with the prevalence of 15.6 pc as against 8.2 pc in urban non-slums and 4.4 pc in rural areas. The prevalence in adults – more than 18 years – was found at 7.1 per cent which is more than 0.73 per cent prevalence found in the 18 years plus category in the last sero survey that ascertained the prevalence of the infection until May end,” Bhargava said.

The survey results mean more than 90 per cent of Indians are still vulnerable to the virus because they have not yet been exposed to it.

The sero surveys detect the presence of antibodies in the blood samples of people. Presence of antibodies reveals past exposure to the virus.

Bhargava said since a large proportion of the population is yet susceptible, prevention fatigue to be avoided using the five Ts strategy—Test, Track, Trace, Treat and Technology.

Member Health NITI Aayog VK Paul commenting on the findings of the ICMR survey said the upcoming festive and winter months would present fertile ground for the spread of the virus.

“People need to check this. We all know that respiratory viruses are winter viruses. They like winter months. So as the festive season comes, we all have to observe a Diwali, Dusehra, Eid and other festivals wearing masks and have to avoid large gatherings. Small group celebrations have to be encouraged lest we lose the edge we have gained over the past 11 days,” Paul said.

In the last 11 days starting September 19, India saw higher daily recoveries than daily cases except on two days.

The government is hoping these trends will hold and the COVID graph will start declining.

 

Top Stories

COVID-19: India records 50,129 fresh cases, 578 deaths

COVID-19: India records 50,129 fresh cases, 578 deaths

Tally reaches 78,64,811 with 50,129 fresh infections; death ...

On Trump’s ‘filthy India’ remark, Biden says 'deeply value friendship with India'

On Trump’s ‘filthy India’ remark, Biden says 'deeply value friendship with India'

“President Trump called India 'filthy'. It's not how you tal...

Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi says people need to show patience while celebrating festivals during COVID times

Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi says people need to show patience while celebrating festivals during COVID times

Remember 'vocal for local' resolve while shopping for festiv...

India should be bigger than China in power and scope: Bhagwat

India should be bigger than China in power and scope: Bhagwat

'No Indian citizen was threatened due to CAA'

Blaze at Mumbai’s City Centre Mall doused after 56 hours

Blaze at Mumbai’s City Centre Mall doused after 56 hours

14 fire engines and 17 jumbo tankers were engaged in the ope...

Cities

View All