NEW DELHI: The Centre asked states to conduct local sero-surveys to be able to assess the situation at the district level and take further steps for containment of any possible spread at the micro level itself.
While the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will be conducting the fourth national level serological survey in June to assess the impact of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic and plan measures for the future, the government said it may not be appropriate to depend on the national survey, suggesting that states should conduct their own serological survey to be able to contain the transmission in small areas.
“If we want to protect our geographies, we cannot depend on one national sero survey alone and will have to encourage states/UTs to do sero surveys at their levels also," NITI Aayog member-health Dr VK Paul said.
TOI reported on Tuesday that ICMR is set to start the fourth nation-wide sero-survey for Covid-19 in June with an expanded coverage of population above six years of age. It will also cover healthcare workers in district hospitals. The urvey will be conducted in same 70 districts where the first three surveys were done.
The last serological survey, between December 17 and January 8, was conducted in population above 10 years of age. The findings showed 21.4% of the country's adult population (18 years and above) suffered Covid-19 by mid-December, whereas sero-prevalence among children aged 10-18years was 25.3%. Among healthcare workers, sero prevalence was 25.7% with 26.6% in doctors and nurses.
A sero- prevalence survey is based on detection of presence of antibodies developed after the infection to assess how many people have been exposed to the infection and the findings are statistically extrapolated to estimate the spread of an infection because often many cases of such infection go unrecorded.