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51% of Mumbai Children Have Covid Antibodies, Says BMC After Sero Survey

Representational image.

Representational image.

For this report, a total of 2,176 blood samples from across 24 wards in the city were collected from April 1 to June 15.

A paediatric sero-survey conducted before the anticipated third wave of the pandemic has revealed that 51.18% of children between 1 to 18 years in Mumbai have developed antibodies against coronavirus, the city civic body said on Monday.

For this report, a total of 2,176 blood samples from across 24 wards in the city were collected from April 1 to June 15. The report indicates overall sero-positivity is 51.18% among the paediatric population including 54.36% from public sector and 47.03% from private sector.

“We decided to conduct a sero survey for the paediatric population, so we took blood samples of approximately 2,200 children across Mumbai. The result shows more than 51% children under 18 years developed antibodies, which implies that even if they are infected, it will not be that severe for them. Having said that, we still have to maintain covid appropriate behaviour, wear masks and avoid crowds," said BMC Additional Commissioner, Suresh Kakani.

“We continue to have our jumbo facilities despite cases being low, and the additions we are making in our health infrastructure, which will be ready in a month, will have dedicated paediatric wards,” he added.

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Taking age into consideration, the sero-positivity rate of 1 to 4 years is 51.04%, 5 to 9 years is 47.33%, 10 to 14 years is 53.43%, and 15 to 18 years is 51.39%. Sero-positivity in the age group of 10 to 14 years is highest.

The study also suggest sero-positivity among the paediatric population has significantly increased from the last sero survey done in March 21, indicating that a significant proportion of children accessing the healthcare services were exposed to the virus during the second wave of COVID-19.

While the study implies that the third wave might not have a severe impact on children as feared, experts continue to stress on not letting one’s guards down and follow covid appropriate behaviour and mask discipline vigorously.

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first published:June 28, 2021, 16:55 IST