New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said that a large proportion of the country's population still remains vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus, as per the results of a nationwide serosurvey. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the 3rd national serosurvey showed that 21.5 per cent population surveyed between December 17 to January 8, have evidence of past exposure to COVID-19. 

During a press conference on Thursday, Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR said that a total of 7,171 healthcare workers were included among the 28,589 individuals in the third serosurvey. 

"The third serosurvey was done from December 17, 2020, to January 8, 2021. A general population of 28,589 individuals were included and another group of 7,171 healthcare workers were also included... Above the age of 18 years the seroprevalence was 21.4 per cent. Sero-prevalence among children aged 10-17 years was 25.3 per cent," Bhargava said. 

"Amongst healthcare workers, seroprevalence was highest overall with 25.7 per cent. Statistically, it was not different between doctors, nurses, field staff, and paramedics, but it was highest among doctors and nurses with 26.6 per cent as against the administrative staff which was 24.9 per cent. IgG antibody against S1 Receptor Binding Domain was detected," he added. 

The seroprevalence means the presence of antibodies against COVID-19 in the population. He said that the survey was conducted in the same 700 villages/wards. "A total of 70 districts from 21 States selected during the 1st and 2nd rounds. 100 Healthcare Workers (HCWs) per district, working in Taluk hospitals/CHCs/PHCs (all HCWs from selected health facilities)," he said. 

Informing about the number of COVID-19 Vaccination drive, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that a total of 44,49,552 beneficiaries have received COVID-19 vaccination in merely 19 days since the start of the inoculation drive January 16. 

"Many other countries have had a head start of almost 65 days. India launched the countrywide COVID19 vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. The number of beneficiaries being vaccinated every day has also shown a progressive increase," the Ministry said.

In the last 24 hours, 3,10,604 people were vaccinated across 8,041 sessions. 84,617 sessions have been conducted so far. 54.87 per cent of the total beneficiaries vaccinated against COVID-19, so far, are from seven States.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan