Stating that a third of the country’s population still does not have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, the Union Healthy Ministry on Tuesday said that as many as 40 crore people are still vulnerable to Covid-19 in India.
Further, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) latest national sero survey, 67.6 per cent of India's population above 6 years of age has SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, the health ministry stated.
The latest ICMR sero survey was conducted in June-July. The survey covered 28,975 general population and 7,252 healthcare workers.
Findings of the ICMR's 4th national Covid sero survey show there is a ray of hope, but there is no room for complacency and Covid-appropriate behaviour has to be followed, the government said.
Further, while the health ministry urged people to avoid social, religious and political gatherings and not take part in non-essential travel, it advised reopening of primary schools, stating that children can handle the infection quite well.
"Children can handle viral infection much better as they have lower number of ace receptors. So once the decision is taken and all the staff vaccinated, it would be wise to open primary schools first," it said.
According to the government, 85 per cent of the surveyed healthcare workers had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and one-tenth of HCWs were still unvaccinated.
The fourth round of the survey was conducted in the 70 districts across 21 states where the previous three rounds had been carried out.
India recorded 30,093 new coronavirus infections, the lowest in 125 days, taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,11,74,322, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.
The death toll climbed to 4,14,482 with 374 daily fatalities, the lowest in 111 days, while the active cases have declined to 4,06,130, the lowest in 117 days.
(With PTI inputs)