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ICMR Advises States To Conduct Survey In General Population

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New Delhi: In a preparation for next step to fight COVID-19, Indian Council of Medical Reseerch (ICMR) has asked the states to conduct sero-survey to measure coronavirus exposure among the general population using IgG Elisa test.

The sero-survey will help in public health intervention said the ICMR in a release, adding that the numbers and frequency in different groups to be tested have been provided to the states. The sero-survey would be conducted using IgG ELISA kit developed at ICMR-National Institute of Virology in Pune.

“The test is useful only when performed in the acute stage of infection (< 7 days). For several viral infections, antibody tests are useful for disease detection after 5-7 days of illness. Understanding related to antibody tests for COVID-19 is evolving and several tests are being developed globally,” the ICMR said.

The premier medical research body in the country said the tests will help understand the proportion of the population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection, including asymptomatic individuals. Depending upon the level of sero-prevalence of infection, the Centre can plan appropriate public health interventions and implement for prevention and control of the disease, it added.

Moreover, the survey in high-risk or vulnerable populations like healthcare workers, frontline workers, immunity-compromised individuals, and those in containment zones will help the government know who has been infected in the past and has now recovered.

The states have been advised to include security personnel interacting with visitors, conducting security screening, physical checking and thermal screening in the survey. Police personnel on duty in containment zones and press reporters in the field and support staff are also the segments that need to be covered.

Besides, migrant workers who have returned to home states need to be targeted, the council said adding industrial workers or labour force, farmers, vendors visiting large markets, staff in municipal bodies, drivers of ambulances, hearses, buses, auto, taxis should also be listed.

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