Roughly two-thirds of all Indians over six, or 67.6 per cent of the population, have antibodies against the coronavirus, the government said today as it announced the results of the fourth serosurvey.

A survey of 36,227 people, including 7,252 healthcare workers, conducted across 70 districts in 21 states in June-July indicated 67.6 per cent of Indians over the age of six had COVID-19 antibodies.

Over 50 per cent of 8,691 children between the age of six and 17 who were tested also had the antibodies. This was the first national survey to test for antibodies in those under the age of 18 – a decision taken amid widespread concern that future waves could affect children.

In June, a survey in Mumbai showed 51.18 per cent of those below 18 had COVID-19 antibodies.

The 67.6 per cent figure is a steep increase from the results of the third serosurvey.

Conducted in December-January, shortly before the second wave began, it suggested that only 21 per cent of those over 10 showed evidence of past exposure to COVID-19.

The second and first serosurveys, conducted last year in August-September (during the first wave of infections) and May-June, respectively, returned 7.1 and 0.7 per cent indications.