Coronavirus in Mumbai: BMC exploring possibility of tie-up with private laboratories to collect blood samples
BL Soni

Days after starting the second phase of the sero-surveillance study in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now exploring the possibility of a tie-up with private laboratories to collect blood samples.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, BMC authorities are exploring the possibility of a tie-up with private laboratories to collect blood samples from a large section of Mumbaikars to ascertain how many of them have recovered from COVID-19. In the second round of the survey, 6,300 samples are being collected.

The BMC on August 10 started the second phase of the sero-surveillance study in the city to assess the spread of COVID-19 and how many people have developed antibodies against the disease. The survey will cover F-North (Dadar, Matunga and Dharavi), M-West (Deonar and Govandi), and R-North (Dahisar) wards.

A serological survey involves testing of blood serum of individuals to check for the prevalence of antibodies against infection.

The sero survey conducted in the first half of July revealed that 57 per cent of the slum population and 16 per cent of non-slum residents in the three civic wards had developed antibodies. It showed a high proportion of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection in the city.

During the study, last month, 6,936 samples out of an estimated 8,870 were collected from slum and non-slum population of the three civic wards. The serological surveillance for SARS-CoV2 infection has been jointly commissioned by the NITI Aayog, the BMC, and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).

The study is being carried out in collaboration with organisations like the Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), A T E Chandra Foundation and IDFC Institute.

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