With India crossing 70,756 coronavirus cases, the ministry of health has released a set of guidelines to be followed on a district-level basis to ensure systematic surveillance of the spread of the pandemic.
The Indian Council Of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) is initiating a population-based survey (serosurvey) in select districts besides the mandated surveillance to monitor COVID-19 trends at the district level.
Under this survey, the Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare (MoFHW) has asked each district to test 50 samples each per week of pregnant women and low-risk outpatient attendees (patients that do not show influenza-like illnesses) and 100 samples per week of high-risk populations like healthcare workers.
The serosurvey which will be in addition to the current routine testing will test samples of patients who have not been infected previously with COVID-19.
After identifying a total of 10 healthcare facilities in each district (6 public and 4 private hospitals), throat/nasal swabs will be tested in a one time pool of 25. But the results of these samples will be used exclusively for surveillance purposes and not for the diagnosis of individual patients.
The survey will sample a total of 800 individuals per month from each district.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)