ICMR to start 4th national serosurvey in June, states should also assess Covid-19 spread: VK Paul

NEW DELHI: Member Health NITI Aayog Dr VK Paul on Friday announced that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will start work on the next nation-wide Covid-19 serosurvey and urged states to roll out their own sero surveillances to asses the spread of the pandemic.
Sero survey is used to determine the prevalence of coronavirus antibodies in the community.
“Preparation for national serosurvey done. ICMR will begin work for the next serosurvey this month. But if we want to protect our geographies we won’t have to depend on national serosurvey alone, we’ll have to encourage states for serosurveys too,” said Dr VK Paul, who also head the country’s national Covid task force.
This will be the fourth serosurvey conducted by the ICMR in the country and would begin in 70 districts across the country and will also include children aged six years and above.
In a serosurvey, blood samples are tested for the presence of IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibodies that determine a past infection due to the coronavirus.
Paul noted that decisions regarding serosurveys must be taken close to the hotspots and points of infection – at district and state levels, for which such surveys need to be held.
The NITI Aayog Member Health also emphasised that there is a need to create a narrative or a buzz in the country about vaccinating against Covid-19. “Vaccines are available and that we need to utilize all doses at Vaccination centers; there should not be wastage of doses. We need to fight Vaccine hesitancy.” (Agency)