The latest national sero-survey by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that over 21 per cent of the country's population, aged 10 years or above, have shown evidence of already being exposed to COVID-19, a government statement said on Thursday. Centre has noted that a vast majority of the population are still at risk of COVID-19 infection.
ICMR conducted the third round of the national sero-survey from December 7, 2020, to January 8, 2021. The results of this survey have been released now.
"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. While 25.3 per cent of children aged 10 to 17 years from the same number of surveyed population have had the disease," said ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargav.
According to ICMR, urban slums at 31.7 per cent and urban non-slums at 26.2 per cent had a higher SARS-CoV-2 prevalence compared to rural areas at 19.1 per cent. Bhargav added that 23.4 per cent of people above the age of 60 have already had COVID-19 infection.
"Blood samples of 7,171 healthcare workers were also collected during the same period and the sero-prevalence was found to be 25.7 per cent," the ICMR Director-General added.
The third round of the national sero-survey was conducted in the same 700 villages or wards in 70 districts in 21 states which were selected during the first two rounds.