In the second serological survey, which was conducted in Delhi this month, it has been found that those between the age of 5 and 17 were the most exposed to the novel coronavirus in the national Capital. The survey results showed a prevalence rate of 34.7 per cent among the participants of the above mentioned age group.
Experts say they could be contracting the infection from adults in their family and domestic helps.
“It is difficult to keep children and youngsters home-bound. Even if they are not going to school, they might be going out to play… or they might have contracted it through an indirect route. But it’s just a prediction and needs to be studied,” PTI quoted Dr Mahesh Verma, the head of a Delhi government committee tasked with strengthening the preparedness of hospitals to battle coronavirus, as saying.
“It’s still very complex how people are getting infected. I know a couple of families that are not stepping out but their members have still contracted COVID-19,” he added.
Dr Gauri Aggarwal, the founder of Seeds of Innocence and Genestrings Lab, New Friends Colony, said, “Children might have contracted the virus from someone in their house who was regularly stepping out. The schools are closed and there are very few people who are organising gatherings where children are also present. It is possible that they got infected while going to parks or through domestic helps. There are lots of cases where domestic helps have spread the infection.”
The survey, which was conducted between August 1 and August 7, showed that about 29 per cent of those surveyed had the presence of novel coronavirus-specific antibodies in them. For the survey, more than 15,000 volunteers were tested for the presence of antibodies, and the results were analysed at the Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC). People from four age groups participated in the survey — around 25 per cent of them below 18, 50 per cent between 18 and 50, and the rest aged above 50.
As many as 31.2 percent of the people aged above 50 have recovered from COVID-19, it showed. Among those in the 18-50 age group, 28.5 percent people have developed antibodies against the virus.
The survey was conducted in each of the 11 districts. The highest prevalence of the disease was found in Southeast district, where 32.2 per cent of the participants were found with the antibodies. This was also the district that showed the biggest jump from last time, when it had recorded 22.2 per cent disease prevalence. More women (32.2 per cent) were found to have the antibodies than men (28.73 per cent).
The first round of Sero-Survey in the city, conducted between the last week of June and first week of July, had detected antibodies in about 23 per cent of the volunteers. That means that in the one-month period between the first and second rounds, the disease spread to just about an additional six per cent of the population.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, people aged between 21 and 50 account for 61.31 per cent of the COVID-19 cases recorded in India till August 21.
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