Schools can reopen, antibodies found in more than half of the children: ICMR survey

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released reports of the fourth sero-survey on Tuesday, which was conducted in June and July in nearly 70 districts of 21 states. Antibodies have been developed in 67% of the country’s population, according to the report. The population has been infected and vital antibodies have been developed in the bodies of these people to neutralize the virus. A large number of children are also included in them. 

On the question of re-opening schools, ICMR Director General Dr. Balram Bhargava said that schools can be opened, because the risk of infection in young children is less than that of adults.

He told that despite the increasing cases of Covid-19 in several countries of Europe, schools have been opened. He suggested that primary schools should be opened in the initial phase, after that secondary schools can be opened.

Dr. Bhargava told that young children can handle the virus very easily when compared to adults. Young children’s lungs have fewer receptors where the virus attacks. He also suggested that if schools are opened then all the support staff and teachers should be fully vaccinated. Also, Covid-19 protocols should be fully followed.

However, this decision will be taken at the district and state level. It will depend on many factors. All the people associated with the school will have to make sure to get the vaccine, the test positivity rate and the public health situation should also have to be considered.

While releasing the results of a survey that found Covid antibodies, Dr. Balram Bhargava said that the country’s two-thirds of the population is still at risk of Covid-19. Antibodies have also been found in more than half of the children aged 6 to 17 years included in the survey. This means that the infection in the second wave has also affected children.

Dr. Bhargava said that 85% health care workers have become victims of Covid-19. Despite the decrease in coronavirus cases and vaccination in the country, he has urged people to adopt covid appropriate behavior. While advising to avoid non-essential travel, he said that only those people who have taken both the doses of the vaccine should travel.

There were 12,607 people involved in the good survey who did not take the vaccine. There were 5,038 such who had received one dose and 2,631 had received both the doses. In the survey, antibodies were found in 89.8% who took both doses. At the same time, antibodies were found in 81% of those who took a single dose. Whereas those who did not take the vaccine, only 62.3% of such people got antibodies.

Results of the Survey reports

1. Antibodies were found in 57.2% of children aged 6 to 9 years and 61.6% of children aged 10 to 17 years.

2. Antibody was found in 66.7% between the age group of 18 to 44 years old, 77.6% of 45 to 60 years old and 76.7% above 60 years.

3. Antibody against Covid-19 was found in 69.2% of women and 65.8% of men.

4. Antibodies were present in 69.6% living in urban areas and 66.7% living in rural areas.

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