As the number of Covid-19 cases surged to 67,152 in the country, the ministry of health on Monday launched district-level facility-based surveillance to monitor the trend in prevalence of SARS-COV-2 infection. This surveillance will be in addition to the routine testing as per current testing guidelines.
Besides the facility-based surveillance, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)/ National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in collaboration with key stakeholders and state health departments is initiating a population based sero-survey in selected districts representing the case detection across the country.
According to the ministry, from each district 10 health facilities including six public and four private will be selected. The population groups will comprise low risk population including the outpatient attendees and pregnant women while high risk population will comprise health care workers.
For lab tests and pooling, throat and nasal swabs will be collected for real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests. Samples will be tested in a one-time pool of 25 and results of sample pools will be only for surveillance purposes as it will not be used for diagnosis of individual patients. Blood samples will also be collected for detecting Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies for an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing.
Further, data on demographic characteristics will be collected on a specifically designed standard data collection form using open data kit platform. Data collection and dissemination will take place as decided jointly by Indian Council of Medical Research and the ministry of health.