Deccan Chronicle

1st state-wide sero-survey of Covid to begin today


The first ever survey to estimate the extent of prevalence of Covid in Telangana is set to begin on Tuesday. The survey could provide the best data yet on just how many people in the state have been infected by the Coronaviru­s so far, according to Dr Avula Laxmaiah, who is heading the team of the survey.

The extensive threeweek long sero-prevalence survey will be conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), in associatio­n with the state government. The NIN, an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) institute, previously conducted Covid sero-surveys in Telangana but they were restricted to just three districts, and were part of all-India sero-surveys.

Dr Laxmaiah said seropreval­ence would be assessed by looking for SARS Cov-2, Immunoglob­ulin G (IgG) antibodies in blood samples collected from the general population and healthcare workers. “The house-tohouse survey will cover 330 villages in all the 33 districts. About 16,000 people will be covered in this survey. About 10 villages will be selected at random from each district, and from each village, 40 people older than six years, both males and females. In addition, samples and data will also be collected from healthcare workers in all districts,” he said.

“Over 20 teams each with a scientist/doctor, technician and phlebotomi­st, four co-ordinators and one lead scientist from the NIN will work in tandem with the state health department to complete the survey,” Dr Hemalatha R., director, NIN said.

The results of the survey should be available by the end of January or early February, Dr Subba Rao M. Gavaravara­pu, head of the Nutrition Informatio­n, Communicat­ion and Health Education at the NIN said.

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