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National News

May 12, 2020

ICMR, NCDC to initiate a population-based Sero-survey in selected districts

Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR and National Centre for Disease Control are going to initiate a population-based sero-survey in selected districts in collaboration with key stakeholders and State Health Departments. The objective of this survey is to monitor the trend in prevalence of COVID-19 infection at district level.

Our correspondent reports that in the survey, 200 samples per district per week and 800 samples per district per month shall be taken. From each district, 10 health facilities including six public and four private health facilities shall be selected. Population groups including outpatient attendees, pregnant women and health care workers will be covered under the survey. The samples will be tested in a one-time pool of 25 and result of sample pooling is only for surveillance purposes. It should not be used for diagnosis of individual patients. In addition to throat, nasal swabs, blood samples should be collected for detecting IgG antibodies for ELISA testing. In subsequent rounds, IgG ELISA based testing of serum samples will replace RT-PCR based testing for surveillance purpose.

Health Ministry said that there is a need to establish systematic surveillance for COVID-19 infection in all districts of country and surveillance will be in addition to the routine testing as per current testing guidelines.

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