New Delhi: The third nationwide sero survey has revealed that 21.5 per cent of the Indian population aged above 18 years of age, has been exposed to Covid-19. Out of this urban slums (31.7 per cent) and urban non-slums (26.2 per cent) had a higher prevalence of novel coronavirus than that in the rural areas (19.1 per cent. The nationwide survey was conducted between December 17 and January 8 covering 28,589 people.
ICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava said that 23.4 per cent of individuals above 60 years of age and 25.3 per cent of children aged 10 to 17 years have had the disease and a large proportion of the population still remains vulnerable to the virus. He added that this shows that vaccines are an absolute necessary to protect oneself from the deadly virus.
The government has started vaccination of frontline workers along with healthcare workers and so far 49.93 lakh beneficiaries have been immunized in the country.
Presenting the findings of the survey, ICMR Director General Dr Bhargava said 21.4 per cent of the 28,589 people, aged 18 years and above, surveyed during the period showed evidence of past exposure to the coronavirus infection. Blood samples of 7,171 healthcare workers were also collected during the same period and the seroprevalence was found to be 25.7 per cent.
Union Health Ministry officials said India's COVID-19 cumulative positivity rate is 5.42 per cent and declining. The weekly positivity rate (last week) was recorded at 1.82 per cent. In the last 24 hours 12, 899 fresh cases were detected and 107 deaths were recorded.