Updated: October 12, 2021 7:30:56 am
The latest sero-survey conducted by Kerala Health Department to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the state has revealed the presence of antibodies in 82.6 per cent of samples taken from residents aged 18 years and above.
The third phase of seroprevalence survey was held in September among six categories of population — those aged above 18, pregnant women, children between 5-17, the tribal community, residents of coastal areas and urban slum dwellers — to diagnose the rate of infection. Unlike the previous sero-surveys held by the ICMR, this time the 13000-odd samples were collected from all districts.
Presenting the survey result in the Assembly, Health Minister Veena George said the high prevalence of antibodies in the sample population could be due to the natural infection of the virus or vaccination coverage in the state. The survey revealed that the presence of antibodies was high among the tribal community (78.2 per cent), residents of coastal areas (87.7 per cent) and urban slums (85.3 per cent). However, the presence of antibodies was lowest among children in the age group 5-17 years (40.2 per cent). This assumes significance as Kerala is all set to open schools from November 1. The September sero-survey results are in stark contrast to an ICMR sero-survey in May. In the May survey, Kerala’s seroprevalence at 42.2 per cent had been much lower than the national average (67.6 per cent). This had implied that over half of Kerala’s population remained susceptible to Covid-19.
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