In a sero survey conducted across 20 Indian states, at least two-thirds of the population was found to have COVID-19 antibodies. While Madhya Pradesh was recorded to have the highest seroprevalence – 79 percent, Kerala was observed to have the least – 44.4 percent.
The survey, which was the fourth of its kind, was conducted between 14 June and 6 July, and covered 20 states and 1 Union territory.
"ICMR conducted the fourth round of COVID- 19 National sero survey between 14th June, 2021 and 6th July, 2021 to estimate sero prevalence among children aged 6-17 years, adults and health care workers. The survey was conducted in the same 70 districts from 20 States and one Union Territory selected during the previous three sero surveys."Health Ministry
What the Survey Found
The fourth sero survey of the Indian population, conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), found that 67.6 percent of the general population (aged over 6 years) had COVID-19 antibodies.
Moreover, 85.2 percent of the healthcare workers surveyed were tested to have antibodies.
The seroprevalence observed for some of the states, reported by news agency PTI, is as follows:
Uttar Pradesh: 71 percent
Uttarakhand: 73.1 percent
Andhra Pradesh: 70.2 percent
Tamil Nadu: 69.2 percent
Chhattisgarh: 74.6 percent
Bihar: 75.9 percent
Rajasthan: 76.2 percent
Madhya Pradesh: 79 percent
Gujarat: 75.3 percent
Odisha: 68.1 percent
Karnataka: 69.8 percent
Kerala: 44.4 percent
Why are Sero Surveys Important?
The seroprevalence estimates from the surveys assist the tracking of 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 containment response.
The results of the sero survey conducted by the ICMR were widely disseminated to the respective state and district authorities, as per a Health Ministry statement.
Referring to the findings, the Health Ministry has also advised states and Union territories to conduct their own sero surveys, following the protocol laid down by the ICMR, PTI reported.
'No Room for Complacency': Home Ministry Notice on COVID Protocol Ahead of Festival Season
Ahead of the festival season, the Home Ministry on Wednesday asked the states and the Union territories to ensure that proper caution is followed with regards to COVID-19 containment.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, in a letter to the chief secretaries of all states, noted that while the the COVID curbs have been relaxed following the decline in cases, "there is no room for complacency and the process of relaxing restrictions should be carefully calibrated."
“The reproduction number of the virus, commonly known as the 'R' factor, is hovering just below 'one' but is higher in some of the States. As reiterated in my D.O. letter dated 14.07.2021, all efforts should be made to ensure that there is no increase in the 'R' factor. Further, strictest possible measures should be taken in the districts that are still showing positivity rates," the letter stated.
(With inputs from PTI)