Covid-19: India far from achieving herd immunity, says health minister Harsh Vardhan
Indians will have to follow the safety protocols against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as herd immunity in the country still remains a distant goal, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday.
India on Sunday inched closer to the 6 million mark of Covid-19 cases after it recorded 88,600 fresh infections between Saturday and Sunday morning. The nationwide death toll mounted to 94,503 after 1,124 people died due to the viral disease in the last 24 hours.
“Indian population is still far from achieving herd immunity against Covid-19 as shown by ICMR’s second serosurvey. Hence, all of us should continue following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour,” the Union minister said during his social media programme ‘Sunday Samvaad-3’.
Herd immunity is used to describe the indirect protection a population acquires in which the majority of people have natural or acquired immunity to infection. This is possible either through a large proportion of the population getting infected or vaccinated.
“The first serosurvey of May 2020 revealed that the nationwide prevalence of novel coronavirus infection was only 0.73 per cent,” the health minister also said.
Harsh Vardhan said that the findings of the second serosurvey, which determines the prevalence of the coronavirus strain in the country, are going to be released soon. The serosurvey also aims to determine how the disease prevalence has changed since the first one in May, when the nationwide lockdown was in force, to now when there are fewer restrictions.