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Health Ministry to conduct Sero Survey in the selected districts

A Sero survey in the selected districts will aim at monitoring the trend in the prevalence of COVID-19 infection.

May 12, 2020 12:29 IST
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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on May 11 has decided to conduct a population-based Sero survey in the selected districts. It aims at monitoring the trend in the prevalence of COVID-19 infection.

As per the ministry, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will conduct a sero survey in the selected districts.

For the survey throat and nasal swabs will be collected for RT-PCR tests and this surveillance will be in addition to the routine testing as per the current testing guidelines.

Key Highlights:

•  As per the Health Ministry, Sero Survey is essential at the moment as there is a need to establish systematic surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 infection in all the districts.

•  The surveillance unit of Sero Survey will consist total of 10 health facilities, it will include 6 public and 4 private ones from each of the districts.

•  The data collected will be analyzed locally for action using the standard indicator formats. Indicators for the place, person, time, and trend analysis will be made.

•  The surveillance method will be jointly implemented across the country by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), district and state health administrators, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), public health institutes, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and community medicine departments of medical colleges.

How the Sero Survey will be conducted?

For the surveillance procedure, the Health Ministry has informed that for the population groups, among the low-risk population, outpatient attendees (non-ILI-patients) and pregnant women will be tested. While, among the high-risk population, health care workers will be surveyed.

From the selected districts, among the high population, as many as 100 samples per week and 400 samples per month will be collected. While 50 samples per week and 200 samples per month will be collected among the low-risk population.

200 samples per week and 800 samples per month will be collected in total.

Sample Testing:

The ministry has directed that for laboratory and pooling, samples must be tested in a one time pool of 25. The result of the samples will only be for the surveillance purpose and it will not be used for the diagnosis of the individual patients.

The Health Ministry also added that in addition to the nasal/throat swabs, blood samples must also be collected for detecting IgG antibodies for ELISA testing. In the further rounds, IgG ELISA based testing of the serum samples will replace RT-PCR based testing for the surveillance purpose.

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