Seventy per cent people in Tamil Nadu have COVID-19 antibodies, the latest sero survey – the third since last year – revealed.
In April, the second sero survey had revealed that only 29 per cent of the state’s population had antibodies.
Chennai and Coimbatore, which have been hotspots, reported seropositivity at 82 per cent and 71 per cent in the third sero survey conducted between July and August. Virudhunagar district tops the list with 88 percent population.
In April, a drop of 3 per cent compared to the earlier survey (32 per cent) had raised concerns that the population was being hit by the coronavirus.
Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan told NB: “The current significant increase is due to the peak of the second wave and the natural immunity in the cured patients after the spike in vaccinations.”
Seropositivity is a measure of the antibodies present in the body that can protect against COVID-19.
Four districts, including Karur, Nilgiris, Ariyalur and Perambalur, have seropositivity rates below 60 per cent.
The administration is intensifying the vaccination campaign in these areas. Health Minister I. Subramaniam said, “We have sent more doses to these districts for the mega vaccination campaign on Sunday.”
Explaining the process, a statement from the state health department said that 24,586 samples were collected from 827 clusters and 17,090 individuals had IgG antibodies against the SARS -Cov-2 virus.
While the seropositivity result certainly puts Tamil Nadu in what health officials call “a safe zone”; Experts say that there is no protection against any possible new variant.
With 5 crore doses, only 22 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The state is reporting around 1,500 cases every day and it still cannot lower its guard.
Tamil Nadu has recorded over 26.7 lakh coronavirus cases so far, and over 35,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.