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Mumbai civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday said a paediatric sero-survey conducted before the anticipated third wave of Covid-19 pandemic has stated that 51.18% of children between 1 to 18 years have developed antibodies against the deadly virus.

The municipal body said the survey conducted by BYL Nair Hospital and Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (KMDL) had tested a total of 2,176 blood samples for the study between April 1 to June 12.

The key findings of the survey suggest that overall sero-positivity is 51.18% including 54.36% from the public sector and 47.03% from the private sector. The sero-positivity is the highest in the age group 10-14 years at 53.43%, the survey said.

The sero-positivity rate in children of 1 to 4 years is 51.04%, while it is 47.33% in the age group of 5 to 9 years, 53.43% in 10 to 14 years, and 51.39% in 15 to 18 years. The overall sero-positivity rate of 1 to 18 years is 51.18%, the survey report added.

"There is a notable increase in sero-positivity in the pediatric population to SARS-CoV-2 in this study as compared to the sero survey-3 conducted in March 2021, which showed a sero-positivity of 39.4% in the age group of ≤18 years, which indicates that a significant proportion of children accessing the healthcare services were exposed to the virus during the second wave of the COVID-19," the BMC release said.

The survey had collected 1,283 samples from Aapli Chikitsa Network and the Nair Hospital of BMC, and 893 were from a network of two private laboratories across 24 municipal wards.

As a possible third wave of COVID-19 is anticipated to affect children disproportionately, the BMC had directed to conduct the sero-survey of the pediatric population during the second wave itself.

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