67.6% population above 6 yrs found to have Covid antibodies in 4th national serosurvey, Lok Sabha told

In order to avoid wastage of medical oxygen, guidelines on rational use of oxygen were issued on September 25, 2020, and further revised and disseminated to states on April 25, 2021.

NEW DELHI: Of India’s population above the age of six, 67.6 percent have developed antibodies against Covid-19, found the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) fourth national serosurvey done between June 14 and July 6, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.

Also, 85.2 percent of the surveyed healthcare workers had antibodies against Covid-19.

Asked whether the government is planning a nationwide Covid serosurvey to determine the prevalence of coronavirus antibodies in the community, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar, in a written reply, said four rounds of Covid-19 national serosurveys have been conducted by the ICMR.

The fourth round of the survey covered 36,227 individuals to estimate seroprevalence among children aged 6-17 years, adults and healthcare workers. It was conducted in the same 70 districts from 20 states and a Union Territory selected during the previous three serosurveys.

“The seroprevalence estimates from the surveys has helped to track the extent of spread of infection in age groups and geographical locations (such as districts, rural/urban areas) over time as well as guide the response. The results of the serosurvey were widely disseminated to the respective state and district authorities,” Pawar said in the reply.

On whether the government has also asked states to carry out their own localised surveillance exercises to assess the prevalence and spread of infection, she said many states and cities have conducted serosurveys.

Metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad have reported seroprevalence ranging between 17.6 percent and 56 percent at different time points, the minister said.

On the other steps taken by the Centre to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country, Pawar said health is a state subject but the Government of India has provided the required technical support and also supported the states through logistic and financial support to further strengthen the existing health infrastructure.

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