Minister of state for health and family welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar informed Lok Sabha on Friday that overall in the country in the fourth round of serosurveillance conducted from June 14 to July 6, 67.6% have antibodies.
Bharathi Pawar said: “The survey was conducted in 70 districts from 20 states, including three each in Telangana and AP, and one Union territory. Metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad have reported seroprevalence ranging between 17.6% and 56% at different times.” The seroprevalence at the national level went up from 24% in December 2020 to 67.6% in June 2021. In Telangana, it went up from 24.1% to 60.1% during the same period, she said.
The National Institution of Nutrition conducted a survey in Jangaon, Nalgonda and Kamareddy districts in association with the Telangana health department. In the fourth phase of survey, six to nine-year-old children were included. About 55% of children were found to be seropositive, while 61 per cent of adults had Covid-19 antibodies in Telangana. Among health care workers, 82.4% had seropositivity rate.
In AP, the sero survey was done in Vizianagaram, Nellore and Krishna districts.
Dr A Laxmaiah, head of public health division, ICMR-NIN and nodal officer for study in Telangana, said: “Near 100% seropositvity among those vaccinated clearly indicates that vaccines are effective. This should remove any vaccine hesitancy and encourage people to get vaccinated as early as possible.” The ICMR strategy has been to do repeat cross-sectional serostudies in the same geographic locations so that the infection transmission trends could be documented and studied.
NIN director Dr R Hemalatha said: “Although over 60% people have antibodies, over 40% of population is still susceptible. This is not the time to lower our guard. All non-pharmacological Covid-19 measures like wearing masks, hand sanitisation and physical distancing should be continued.”