Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 30 November 2021 2.06 AM IST

Over 50 pc children in Mumbai have COVID antibodies, says BMC


MUMBAI: In a pediatric serosurvey conducted ahead of a likely COVID third wave, over 50 per cent children in Mumbai aged between 1 to 18 years have developed antibodies against the coronavirus, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai said on Monday.

It added that the percentage of children with antibodies was greater than the last serosurvey,

The Sero-survey of SARS-CoV-2 infection among the pediatric population of Mumbai was conducted by BYL Nair Hospital and the Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, according to the statement issued by the municipal corporation.

It stated that the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory had conducted the serosurvey on the direction of BMC as in a third Covid-19 the pediatric population was anticipated to be affected disproportionately.

Taking this into consideration the Municipal Commissioner S Chahal and Additional Municipal Commissioner (Western Suburbs) Suresh Kakani had directed to conduct serosurvey of the pediatric population during the second wave itself.

"As per the directions, this serosurvey was conducted between April 1, 2021 to June 15, 2021. BYL Nair Hospital and Kasturba Molecular Laboratory jointly conducted this serosurvey. These blood samples were made available from the samples received in laboratories for various medical investigations and were transported from public and private laboratories to Kasturba Molecular Laboratory," read the statement.

It stated that across 24 wards of Mumbai, a total of 2,176 blood samples were collected from pathology laboratories including 1,283 from Aapli Chikitsa Network and Nair Hospital of BMC and 893 from network of two private labs.

The key findings of the study suggested that more than 50 per cent of the pediatric population in a healthcare setting have already been exposed to SARS.COV-2. The overall seropositivity is 51.18 per cent including 5436 per cent from public sector and 47.03 per cent from private sector, said the Municipal Corporation.

It said that the Seropositivity was highest in the age group of 1-14 years at 53.43 per cent.

Taking age into consideration, the Seropositivity rate of 1 to 4 years was 51.04 per cent, 5 to 9 years was 47.33 per cent, 10 to 14 years was 53.43 percent, 15 to 18 years was 51.39 per cent. The overall Seropositivity rate of 1 to 18 years was 51.18 per cent, said the statement.

The release issued by the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation further stated that there was a notable increase in the seropositivity in the pediatric population to SARS-CoV-2 in this study as compared to Serosurvey 3 conducted in March 2021 which showed a seropositivity of 39.4 per cent in the age group of 18 years which indicated that a significant proportion of children accusing the healthcare services were exposed to the virus during the second wave of COV1D-19.

The study has also suggested targeted health, education and awareness about COVID- 19 appropriate behaviour. IEC should include the use of social media platforms (examples include memes, collaborating with social media influencers. etc), cartoon advertisements and catchy jingles," it said.

The serosurvey was conducted jointly by the Department of Miro-Biology and the Department of Pediatrics from BYL Nair Hospital, it added.

Meanwhile, India is expecting covid vaccines for children by September-October.

"One is hopeful that trials will be completed early and possibly with follow up of about two to three months we shall have data by September. Hopefully, by that time, approvals will be there so that by September-October we will have vaccines from our country which we can give to children," Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS Delhi had told ANI.

However, for those aged above 12 years, the vaccine can be expected by August, informed NTAGI Chief Dr. R K Arora in his recent interview to ANI.

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