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ICMR, NCDC to initiate a population-based serosurvey in selected districts to monitor coronavirus prevalence

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ICMR, NCDC to start serosurvey to monitor coronavirusOn May 12, 2020, Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) are set to initiate a population-based sero-survey in selected districts in collaboration with key stakeholders and State Health Departments so as to monitor the trend of COVID-19 infection at district level as there is a need to establish systematic surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 infection in all districts of the country.

Gist about Survey

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

ii.The survey will be taken from 200 samples per district per week and 800 samples per district per month. From each district, 10 health facilities including 6 public and 4 private health facilities shall be selected.

Population groups– include attendees, pregnant women and health care workers

iii.Among the low-risk population, outpatient attendees(non-Influenza-Like Illness patients) and pregnant women will be tested & among the high-risk population healthcare workers will be surveyed.

iv.At least 100 samples per week and 400 per month from selected districts among the high- risk population, 50 samples per week and 200 per month of outpatient attendees (Non-ILI patients), as well as pregnant women will be collected.

v.The samples will be tested in a one-time pool of 25 and the result of sample pooling is only for surveillance purposes. It should not be used for diagnosis of individual patients.

vi.The throat, nasal swabs blood samples will be collected for detecting Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay(ELISA) testing. In consecutive rounds, IgG ELISA based testing of serum samples will replace Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) based testing for surveillance purposes.

About Data

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

ii.The collected data will be analyzed  locally for action using standard indicator formats, where  indicators will be made for person, place, time and trend analysis.

iii.Data collation and dissemination will take place jointly by ICMR and department of health and family welfare

About NCDC:
It is under the administrative control of the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Director– Sujeet Kumar Singh