The Kerala health and family welfare department recently released a serosurveillance report that showed nearly 10.76% of people residing in Kerala have antibodies due to Covid-19. The report said that the virus was not widespread.
A serosurveillance study provides estimates of antibody levels against infectious diseases. If the antibodies are identified, it gives information regarding the infections. The report points out that while 10.76% were living with the antibodies, the remaining 89% population took precautions to protect themselves from Covid-19.
The report states that a seroprevalence study was conducted to get the necessary results. A seroprevalence study is essential to estimate the disease burden on the community. According to the report, the primary objective was to estimate the seroprevalence of Covid-19 antibodies in adults in Kerala. The secondary objectives were to estimate the seroprevalence of Covid-19 antibodies among health workers, frontline workers and residual serum samples in labs and blood banks. The survey took place in 14 districts across the state.
The report says that 20,939 people from the public, health workers and Covid frontline workers participated in the survey. The results showed that 1,397 out of 12,982 adults have antibodies which comes to 10.76%. When it came to health workers, 164 out of 1,562 health workers have antibodies and, among front line workers, 194 out of 1,623 frontline workers have antibodies.
The report said that out of every four cases in the community, one is picked up in Kerala. “Taking National average, for every 30 cases in the community, one case is being picked up. This shows the robust efforts for testing and isolating Covid-19 cases in Kerala,” the report said.
The Health department’s report says that approximately 89% population in Kerala are vulnerable and are at risk of getting infected. However, the report pointed out the vaccination drive for prioritised groups has come at the best possible time for Kerala as it was able to keep the population protected from Covid-19. The report also said that the Kerala government’s messages such as wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing with other control measures have reflected in the low fatality rate (0.4%), which is the lowest in the country.
The report recommended that the need for rapid increase vaccination coverage across the state to ensure a faster rate of population immunity. The report said that vaccination for 18-60-year-olds is justified along with priority groups in Kerala. Police personnel coming under the frontline categories must take more precautions as they have a higher seropositivity rate compared to LSG personnel. People must continue to adhere to appropriate Covid-19 behaviour.
Meanwhile, Kerala reported 1,985 cases, 2,172 recoveries and 10 deaths. The state collected 57,425 samples and the Test Positivity Rate is at 3.46%.