The fourth sero survey shows that now there are fewer people left in the country, who are more prone to epidemic infection. Before the second wave, about 76 percent or 105 crore people in the country were in danger, now this number has come down to about 400 million. This is good news. This low number assures that any subsequent wave will be less lethal than the second wave. We can reduce anxiety and stress, but that doesn’t mean we should relax. There are still 400 million people in danger and the spread of the virus has not stopped. We also need to note that at the national level, the number of people exposed to danger has come down, but there may be some places within the states and districts where the percentage of such people is high. State or district wise cases may increase before another wave.
The danger of the new variant will remain
We also have to remember that antibodies tend to deplete over time. Some people who have antibodies now may not have antibodies in the next few months. One important thing, sero-prevalence has nothing to do with the virus. The virus is still spreading and as long as it continues to spread, there will be a risk of a new variant. Britain is an example of this. There by vaccination, antibodies were made in a large population. Despite this, the delta variant emerged and a large number of cases occurred. However, the advantage of being vaccinated was that there were fewer cases of hospitalization and death. India will have to prepare for a more infectious variant than Delta. Such a variant can flourish in India or in any country.
Next wave may come between August to November
It is estimated that the next wave may come between August and November, 2021. Some people are not taking these estimates seriously. They wonder why the estimates differ. The reason for this is that no one can say when the new variant will emerge. If a new variant emerges and people do not take precautions, a third wave may come in August itself. There is no need to get overconfident from the results of the sero survey that people should stop taking safety measures. Susceptible people are at risk of infection and disease. People who have antibodies can also become infected by the introduction of a more infectious variant. Some are concluding that India is moving towards herd immunity. We have to understand that having a more infectious variant also increases the threshold of herd immunity. Currently, antibodies are needed in more than 85 percent of people for herd immunity and we are far from it.
Sero survey revealed a matter of increasing confidence in children
The question is what should we do? The answer is that as long as the pandemic continues in the world, to protect ourselves and our people, we will have to adopt the habit of masks, physical distance and hand-washing, as well as getting vaccinated. The sero survey has revealed a matter of increasing confidence in children. It said that seroprevalence was found in children as well as in adults. Children are less likely to develop the disease than others. This is because the receptor in their lungs is not fully developed, which helps the virus to spread. This tells us that there is no additional risk to children in the next wave. State administrations should consider vaccination and other measures on the basis of national survey as well as survey data at state and local level. If needed, a separate sero survey can be done in some selected districts. The sero-prevalence was found to be similar in cities and villages. This figure can be used to make accurate estimates and estimate the actual death toll in the country.
People can contribute to this fight by getting vaccinated and wearing masks. Tech-savvy people gather science-based evidence and policy makers play a role by making the right plans. Just need to recover. The impact of the epidemic can be reduced by applying one dose of the vaccine to at least 60 to 70 percent of the adult population and then increasing the speed of the second dose.