The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released the results of its fourth seroprevalence study which was conducted across 21 states in June and July with 36,227 people participating, including 7,252 healthcare workers. It found that 67.6 percent of people over six years of age, some two-thirds of India's population, have Sars-CoV-2 antibodies. Despite that high percentage, at least 400 million people across the country remain at risk of infection and officials warned against relaxing Covid-19 protocols.
Among different age groups, the highest level of antibodies were observed in the 45-60 year bracket at 77.6 percent, followed by over 60s at 76.7 percent. Elsewhere, 61.6 percent of respondents aged between 18 and 44 had antibodies, as did 57.2 percent of younger Indians aged between 6 and 9. The survey also explored seroprevalence among healthcare workers, finding that 85 percent have been exposed to the virus.
India has reported 31 million cases of Covid-19 and 400,000 deaths so far. Despite being hit hard in recent months and cases peaking at 380,000, they are now falling steadily and averaging around 40,000 a day. ICRM chief Dr. Balram Bhargava said that "the fourth sero survey shows there is a ray of hope, but there is no room for complacency. We must maintain Covid-appropriate behavior." When the results of the third seroprevalence survey were published in February, only 21 percent of people in India had Covid-19 antibodies.