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ICMR plans nationwide sero-survey to detect exposure of people to Covid-19 infection



The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has announced its plan of a nationwide sero-survey which will be carried out to determine the exposure of the coronavirus infection among the population. The new survey will be similar to the one conducted in May, the results of which are still awaited.

A sero-survey involves testing of blood serum of a group of individuals and this is used to monitor trends of the coronavirus disease at the district level. The survey is carried out by the ICMR in tandem with the National Centre for Disease Control and with the help of state health departments.

The results of the sero-survey that had been conducted by the research body in May, which focused on infections of mid-April is still under process, Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty in the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

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“The sero-survey that ICMR conducted across the country focused on infections of mid-April and preliminary findings were shared. Such sero-surveillance studies or any other scientific study is subject to peer-review and those inputs are also incorporated. So that process is going on. We will be in a position to share it once that gets over,” Bhushan said.

Based on data compiled from 65 districts out of 83 districts across the country in the first part of the sero-survey, 0.73 per cent of the population surveyed had showed evidence of past exposure to Covid-19, according to ICMR’s data.

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The results of the last sero-survey, which has been carried out in Delhi by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as a part of which 22,000 samples were collected from June 27 to July 5 from 11 districts, is also under process.

“In the near future, ICMR is planning a follow up sero-survey pan-India to the earlier sero-survey that they had been done for mid-April infections,” an official said.


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