The council had chosen Chennai, Coimbatore and Tiruvannamalai for the randomised sample of 400 individuals from about 10 clusters, particularly from selected wards in Chennai and other cities based on the population. Officials said the surveys have been completed in Tiruvannamalai and Coimbatore, while it was started only a few days ago in Chennai.
“The sero survey aims at looking for the exposure of common people to COVID-19 based on the presence of antibodies in the general population. The antibody tests are being performed on randomly selected individuals. It will take about two weeks to complete the survey in the city, as it was started only two days ago,” said Dr Manoj Muhrekar, director, Indian Council of Medical Research- National Institute of Epidemiology.
The officials from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine said sero survey was being planned by the State Health Department, which would also help implement public health measures and plan strategies to prevent further transmission of the infection. “The ICMR sero survey will be supported by the State Health Department. The department is also planning on a sero-survey to analyse the extent of infection in individuals across the State,” said Dr TS Selvavinayagam, Public Health Director.
Similar surveys are being done by several cities across the country, including Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad – all of which have been hit hard by the pandemic. Delhi was the first among the big cities to complete the exercise and publish results officially. It revealed that of the 20,000 random samples, nearly 23 per cent had antibodies.