Second COVID-19 Sero survey which includes children above 10 years old will finish by September: ICMR

NCCS Pune COVID Corona
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Mehab Qureshi

Pune, August 27, 2020: With the first Sero surveillance showing encouraging results, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is all set to test children aged 10 and above for Coronavirus(COVID-19) antibodies.

Sero surveys are essential so that we know what further steps can be taken in terms of public health, containment zones, and precautions. Medical researchers have said that the survey sample will be around 28,000 -400 samples will be collected from every 70 districts. These are the same districts that were part of the first national sero survey.

ICMR has decided to include 10 years old and above from each household. The last survey was only held for adults above 18. “The purpose is to check the growth rate of the infection, and that is why the same cities have been chosen to investigate how the situation has changed from the last survey,” informed an official from ICMR.

Early findings of the first sero survey showed that only 0.73% showed exposure to the novel COVID-19. “The full paper from the last serosurvey, carried out in May, has been peer-reviewed twice, and will be published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research by this weekend,” said ICMR director-general Dr. Balram Bhargava in a press briefing.

Meanwhile, the second study will check for the number of people who have antibodies and evaluate how close the country is to develop herd immunity.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan informed that while the test rates have increased exponentially, there has been a steady decline in the positive rate. The active cases are only 22.2% of the total, and the recovery rate is now more than 75%.

The second survey results will decide the stake of the reopening of schools for children and will be completed by the first week of September, added Union Minister Bhushan.