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Health ministry to conduct another sero-surveillance across India

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.

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.

“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.

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 1st sero-survey from 65 districts pan India revealed only 0.73 per cent of the population showed exposure to coronavirus, as per the ICMR.

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.

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. – ANI

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