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COVID-19: Union Health Ministry To Conduct Another Sero-Surveillance Across India

The sero-survey would be a follow up for the previous sero surveillance which was conducted in the month of May by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to know the trend or exposure of infection in the population in mid April month

COVID-19: Union Health Ministry To Conduct Another Sero-Surveillance Across India
Highlights
  • Sero-surveys help to understand proportion of population exposed to virus
  • A sero-survey was conducted in all the districts of national capital Delhi
  • Sero-survey done in Delhi from June 27 - July 5 covered 20,000 households

New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is planning to conduct a nationwide sero-surveillance to evaluate the trend of COVID-19 among the population, the Central government informed on Thursday (July 9). The serosurvey is done by testing the blood sample of an individual to know the prevalence of antibodies against coronavirus. This sero-survey would be a follow up for the previous sero surveillance which was conducted in the month of May by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to know the trend or exposure of infection in the population in mid April month.

Also Read: ICMR Advises States To Conduct Sero-Survey To Measure Coronavirus Exposure In People Using IgG ELISA Test

“The findings of the first ‘sero-survey’ report are still under the process of evaluation and final results are yet to be announced. This sero survey report focused on knowing the trend of coronavirus infection in mid April. We only shared primary findings,” said Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty at the Union Health Ministry, adding that ICMR is going to conduct another sero-survey across India in the coming days as a follow up to its previous sero-survey focused on infection trend in mid-April.

It takes a lot of scientific discussion to come to any conclusion. Hence, that process is still ongoing, he said.

Mr Bhushan further informed that Delhi’s sero- surveillance survey is still being evaluated and finalized which was conducted on 20,000 households from June 27 to 5 July in all districts of the national capital.

The primary findings of the first sero-survey from 65 districts pan India revealed only 0.73 per cent of the population showed exposure to coronavirus, as per the ICMR.

Also Read: Precautions To Take Till Airborne Transmission Of COVID-19 Is Further Researched And WHO Assesses The ‘Emerging Evidence’

According to the apex medical research body, sero-surveys help to understand the proportion of the population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection including asymptomatic individuals. Depending upon the level of sero-prevalence of infection, appropriate public health interventions can be planned and implemented for prevention and control of the disease.

IgG antibodies generally start appearing after two weeks of onset of infection, once the individual has recovered after infection and lasts for several months.

Also Read: Is The Country In Community Transmission Stage? Experts Say ‘Not Yet’

Therefore, the IgG test is not useful for detecting acute infection but indicates an episode of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past. However, detection of IgG antibodies is useful to detect the trend or exposure of the virus, ICMR earlier said.

So far, India has reported 7,67,296 coronavirus cases including  21,129 deaths.

Also Read: World Health Organisation Lauds India’s Effort In COVID-19 Fight, Urges To Focus On Data Management

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.

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