Covid-19: India’s 21% Of Population Affected

Over 21 per cent of the population, aged 10 years and above, showed evidence of past exposure to COVID-19 in the ICMR's latest national survey

New Delhi: Over 21 per cent of the population, aged 10 years and above, showed evidence of past exposure to COVID-19 in the ICMR’s latest national survey, the government said on Thursday, noting that a large proportion of people are still vulnerable to the infection.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) third national serosurvey was conducted between December 7 last year and January 8. Presenting the findings of the survey, ICMR Director General Dr Balram 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. While 25.3 per cent of children aged 10 to 17 years from the same number of surveyed population have had the disease, he said.

Urban slums (31.7 per cent) and urban non-slums (26.2 per cent) had a higher SARS-CoV-2 prevalence than that in rural areas (19.1 per cent), Bhargava said, adding that 23.4 per cent of individuals above 60 years of age had suffered from COVID-19.

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, the ICMR director general said. The survey was conducted in the same 700 villages or wards in 70 districts in 21 states selected during the first and second rounds of the national serosurvey.

College sealed in K’taka after 49 students test +ve

As a precautionary measure, the Aaliyah Institute of Nursing at Ullal in coastal Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka was sealed on Wednesday after 49 nursing students from neighbouring Kerala tested positive for Covid-19.

Out of the 104 samples of staff and students tested, 49 BSc nursing students, including 11 boys, who had come for examinations after a months-long break, tested positive, Dr H Ashok, nodal officer of Dakshina Kannada district, said.

He said four test reports are pending.

The students had stayed there for two hours before they were tested after six male students were found infected on January 29.

A delegation of municipal council officials visited the college Wednesday and city municipal commissioner Rayappa declared the college premises a containment zone and directed that no one should enter or leave the place till February 19.

The area has been sealed and other students have been isolated from the infected, he said.

The step has been taken as a precautionary measure and people need not panic, Rayyappa added.

He said all students coming from outside the state have been directed to take mandatory Covid-19 tests.

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