The mega serological survey aimed at understanding the spread of Covid-19 in Delhi begins today. Under it, 20,000 tests will be conducted across all districts and age groups.
This is part of the new COVID-19 response plan prepared by the Delhi health department, as per the recommendations of the committee, headed by NITI Aayog member V K Paul. The committee comes under the Union Health Ministry.
The Delhi government and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is jointly taking up the exercise, beginning Saturday, and will end at July 10.
On 25 June, Union Home Secretary reviewed implementation of various decisions on COVID in Delhi which were taken on 21 June in a meeting chaired by HM @AmitShah. Member Niti Aayog, Director AIIMS, DG ICMR along with Delhi’s Chief Secretary & Health Secretary attended the meeting.— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) June 26, 2020
Delhi reported 3,788 cases on June 24, overtaking Mumbai as the city with the maximum number of Covid-19 cases in India. The national capital now has an aggregate of 70,390 cases, whereas, in Mumbai, which saw 1,118 new cases on Wednesday, the tally rose to 69,528.
What's a Sero Survey?
Serological tests are diagnostic methods used to identify antibodies and antigens in a patient's sample and these may be performed to also check whether a person has immunity to certain diseases.
Who Will Conduct It?
According to the order issued by the Directorate General of Health Services in Delhi on June 22, state level and district level teams have been identified to coordinate testing across the city as per the time-line identified by the committee.
A total of 20,000 tests will be conducted across all the districts of Delhi, spanning all sections and ages, it said. The deputy commissioners of the districts will effectively coordinate with survey field teams, the order said.
Has It Been Done Before in India?
Previously, the findings of the first population-based serosurvey, conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to evaluate the extent of exposure to Covid-19, showed that nearly 30% of the population in several containment areas may have acquired the disease and recovered.
According to a report in The New Indian Express, ICMR, with the assistance of state governments, National Centre for Disease Control and India's office of World Health Organisation procured close to 24,000 samples from 70 districts across India, from randomly chosen individuals.