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What is serosurvey? ICMR to conduct serosurvey in 69 districts for COVID-19

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New Delhi, May 12: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus will conduct a population-based serosurvey to monitor the trend in prevalence of the infection at the district level, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. The survey will be based on random samples collected from 69 districts of 21 states in India.

What is serosurvey? ICMR to conduct serosurvey in 69 districts for COVID-19

The survey will involve collection of venous blood samples from 400 randomly selected individuals (one per household) from 10 clusters in each district.

What is serosurvey? ICMR to conduct serosurvey in 69 districts for COVID-19

The document stated that throat/nasal swabs will be collected for RT-PCR tests and samples would be tested in a one-time pool of 25.

Data on demographic characteristics will be collected on a specifically designed standard data collection form.

ICMR to study prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 infected people to check for community spread

The data will be analyzed locally for action using standard indicator formats. Indicators for person, place, time and trend analysis will be made. Data collation and dissemination will take place as decided jointly by ICMR and department of health and family welfare, it said.

What is a serosurvey?

A serosurvey involves testing of blood serum of a group of individuals to determine the presence of antibodies against that infection.

In a serosurvey the blood serum of a group of individuals is tested to see if there is a presence of antibodies against infection.

This type of survey has been utilised for other diseases such as measles, rubella, polio, etc and is especially used to check the effectiveness of vaccination programmes. According to a document regarding the serosurvey in the Health Ministry website, in the case of the novel coronavirus, this survey will help to evaluate the way the virus is spreading.

Govt identifies districts for sero-survey

At least 3 districts have been shortlisted for the survey. They are Andhra Pradesh (Krishna, Nellore and Vizianagaram), Assam (Udalguri, Kamrup Metropolitan, and Karbi Anglong), Chhattisgarh (Bijapur, Kabirdham & Surguja), Gujarat (Mahisagar, Narmada and Sabarkatha), Jharkhand (Latehar, Pakur and Simdega), Karnataka (Bengaluru Urban, Chitradurga and Kalaburagi), Kerala (Palakkad, Ernakulam and Thrissur), Madhya Pradesh (Dewas, Ujjain and Gwalior), Odisha (Rayagada, Ganjam and Koraput), Rajasthan (Dausa, Jalore and Rajsamand), Tamil Nadu (Tiruvannamalai, Coimbatore and Chennai), Telangana (Kamareddy, Jangoan and Nalgonda).

What is serosurvey? ICMR to conduct serosurvey in 69 districts for COVID-19

There are 6 districts each that have been selected from Bihar (Muzaffarpur, Purnia, Begusarai, Madhubani, Arwal and Buxar), Maharashtra (Beed, Nanded, Parbhani, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar and Sangli) and West Bengal (Alipurduar, Bankura, Jhargram, 24 Paraganas south, Medinipur east and Kolkata).

At least one district each from Haryana (Kurukshetra), Jammu and Kashmir (Pulwama), Uttarakhand (Pauri Garhwal), and Himachal Pradesh (Kullu) and two from Punjab (Gurdaspur and Jalandhar) have been selected.

In Uttar Pradesh a total of 9 districts have been shortlisted for the survey. These are Amroha, Saharanpur, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Bareilly, Balrampur, Mau, Auraiya, Gonda and Unnao.

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