New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Friday said that the ICMR will conduct the fourth phase national serosurvey to assess the spread of COVID-19 in the country but all states/UTs should be encouraged to do the same so that all geographical areas information can be collected. NITI Aayog member (health) VK Paul said that ICMR will conduct the next phase sero survey from this month, which will help in assessing the spread of Covid-19. But if we want to save our geographical areas then we should not depend on one national sero survey alone and states/UTs also have to be encouraged to conduct sero survey at their own level.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a serosurvey will be conducted in 70 districts of 21 states, and children above six years of age will also be included in it. Coronavirus antibodies will be detected in the human body through serosurvey. The presence of anti-body in the body proves that the person has been hit by the virus. Serum of blood is used in serosurvey. This survey also shows at what level the infection has spread.
ICMR conducted the third sero survey from 17 December 2020 to 8 January 2021. Paul said that a state-wide survey should be done so that the threat of an epidemic can be avoided. He advised that the serosurvey at the district and state level should be carried out in those areas which became Covid hotspots. The fourth serosurvey will be done when the vaccination program has been opened to the general public.
Dr. Rakesh Mishra, Consultant, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, told ANI on Saturday, “This will give us an idea of the infection rate and the presence of antibodies in people, how far we are from getting herd immunity. This will also tell us. Which part of the country has the lowest positivity rate.
He said, “The serosurvey will detect the presence of antibodies in the vaccinated persons. Large-scale serosurvey in the country will help us a lot.” Dr. Rakesh Mishra said, “It seems that 80 to 90 percent of cases in most countries are due to the delta variant. But the situation may change in two months in the case of new variants. Some reports that came out in the UK said that The delta variant is getting stronger, but that doesn’t mean it will become more dangerous.”
What did the serosurvey reveal so far?
According to the data of sero survey till 8 January, every five Indians above the age of 18 years in the country have become a victim of coronavirus infection. More Covid antibodies were seen in women (22.7 percent) than in men (20.3). The earlier three serosurveys were conducted in 700 villages and 21 states in 70 districts of the country.