ICMR-NIN: While the last serosurvey was conducted last year in December 2020 on adolescents between the age group of 10-17 year old, the latest one will include children in the age group 6 to 9 years.
Telangana : In an effort to gauge the spread of COVID-19 , The Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Nutrition and the Telangana government has begun the fourth round of serosurvey in Jangaon, Kamareddy, and Nalgonda districts of the state on Tuesday. While the last serosurvey was conducted last year in December 2020 on adolescents between the age group of 10-17 year old, the latest one will include children in the age group 6 to 9 years. The other two surveys before that took place in May and August in 2020. The surveys included healthcare workers as well for over 18 years of age. These serosurveys are done from time to time in order to study the extent of virus spread.
Although the number of coronavirus cases in Telangana is somewhat under control, the study still holds the importance as health experts have flagged possibility of third wave of COVID-19 infection which is most likely to hit in 6-8 weeks if people fail to address to covid appropriate behaviour.
According to Dr A Laxmiah, who is the head of the Public Health Division at ICMR-NIN and the coordinator of the survey, this is the fourth in the serial cross-sectional surveys. The survey will cover about 400 subjects from 10 villages of each of the three districts (Jangaon, Kamareddy, and Nalgonda) in the state. Also, 100 healthcare workers from district hospitals and community health centers would be a part of this.
The sero-epidemiological studies will help determine the spread of COVID-19 at the community level. Dr R Hemalatha, Director, ICMR-NIN, in a statement said that for this purpose, we are actively working in collaboration with the Telangana government. We are happy that the state health department and the district authorities have ensured that the surveillance takes place smoothly, she added.
The survey-based data will be collected within two to three days. The IgG (ImmunoglobulinG) antibody-based seropositivity indicates the extent of infection spread in the population in general. This will further help in understanding transmission trends of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population and frontline workers. And this will further help form the strengthening measures for the upcoming spike in COVID infections, the experts said.
The results of the third round of serosurvey conducted by NIN in December last year suggested that 24.1 per cent of all samples collected had tested positive for antibodies, which means one in every four people had contracted the virus already. As per the results of the first round of serosurvey in May 2020, the percentage of infection stood at 0.33 per cent. And with the second round of survey, which took place in August last year, the percentage of prevalence rose to 12.5 per cent.
On Wednesday, Telangana recorded 1, 175 new COVID-19 cases taking the tally to over 6.16 lakh while the death toll stood at 3,586 with 10 fresh deaths.