Srinagar: Just 2 per cent population in Kashmir has antibodies for COVID-19 and 98 per cent population is susceptible to infection and still far away from acquiring herd immunity, an ICMR survey said.
Dr. Nisar-ul-Hassan, President of Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) said, "A sero-surveillance study conducted in Pulwama district of Kashmir by ICMR in May revealed that 2 per cent of the population surveyed showed antibodies in their blood. "The presence of antibodies means that the person had infection in the recent past and is now immune to the virus".
The findings of the survey are based on 400 blood samples wherein only 8 showed presence of antibodies. The doctor said ICMR conducted the survey simultaneously in 82 districts of the country and found that the national figure of immune population is just 0.73 per cent. He said the findings of the survey prove that a predominantly large, 98 per cent of Kashmir's population is susceptible to COVID-19 and we are still far away from acquiring any herd immunity against the virus.
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"The findings of the study showed that most of the people are not immune to the disease and herd immunity is still far away," he said. The doctor said when people come out, they will catch the disease for sure. They may recover and get immune too.
"But, if there is a change in the virus and the virus behaves differently and becomes more virulent which can happen, there can be more fatalities, and that would do away all the good work that has been done so far", he said cautioning that the people should not think there is no more risk.
"With the easing of restrictions, it is necessary to prepare for the arrival of new waves of the virus that could be stronger. "People should not be complacent and the only way to stop the spread of virus is by taking precautions like social distancing, wearing face masks in public and washing hands correctly and frequently," he said.
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