The Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) recommends the opening of primary schools first as they believe children can handle viral infection much better. However, staff and teachers must be vaccinated, ICMR said at a health ministry briefing on July 20. "We know clearly that children can handle viral infections much better than adults. Antibody exposure is also similar in children as adults. Some Scandinavian countries didn't shut their primary schools in any COVID waves", said Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR Director-General.
Findings of ICMR's fourth national serosurvey was also released that showed around 40 crore people are still vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, while two-thirds of the country's population aged above six have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The findings show there is a ray of hope, but there is no room for complacency and Covid-appropriate behaviour has to be followed, the government said. ICMR conducted the latest survey in June-July. Addressing a press conference, a senior official said two-thirds or 67.6 per cent of India's population aged above 6 years were found to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the latest national serosurvey.