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Kids can handle viral infection better; wise to consider reopening primary schools first: ICMR

The ICMR on Tuesday said that it would be wise to consider reopening primary schools first as children can handle viral infection much better.

It said, “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.”

Addressing a press conference, referring to the fourth national Covid sero-survey show, a senior official said, around 40 crore people are still vulnerable to COVID-19 infection as the nationwide survey found two-thirds of the country’s population aged above six to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

There is no room for complacency in the fight against the pandemic, he further stressed.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted the latest survey in June-July.

The senior official said two-thirds or 67.6 per cent of India’s population aged above 6 years were found to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the latest national sero survey.

A third of the population did not have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which means about 40 crore people are still vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, the official 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 survey covered 28,975 general population and 7,252 healthcare workers.

The fourth round of the survey was conducted in the 70 districts across 21 states where the previous three rounds had been carried out.

Stressing observance of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour, the government said social, religious and political congregations should be avoided and non-essential travels should be discouraged.

“Travel only if fully vaccinated,” it said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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