Govt asks states/UTs to conduct state-specific serosurveys in consultation with ICMR
The Centre has advised all states and union territories to conduct seroprevalence surveys in consultation with the ICMR to generate district-level data on seroprevalence, which is essential in formulating localised public health response measures.
This was stated in a letter written by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to additional chief secretaries/principal secretaries/secretaries (Health) of all states/UTs, a statement by the Union Health Ministry said.
The ministry also shared findings of the recent national serosurvey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) across 70 districts of the country, according to which the seroprevalence was found to be 79 percent among the surveyed population in Madhya Pradesh, 58 percent in Maharashtra, 44.4 percent in Kerala, 76.2 percent in Rajasthan, and 75.9 percent in Bihar.
It was 75.3 percent in Gujarat, 71.0 percent in Uttar Pradesh, 69.8 percent in Karnataka, 69.2 in Tamil Nadu, 68.1 percent in Odisha, 66.5 in Punjab, 63.1 in Telangana, 50.3 in Assam, and 60.9 in West Bengal.
Referring to the findings of the fourth round of the national seroprevalence survey done by ICMR, the ministry has advised states/UTs to conduct the seroprevalence studies in their own regions in consultation with the ICMR, so that such studies follow a standardised protocol, and the findings can then be utilised by the respective state and UT to guide objective, transparent and evidence-based public health response to COVID-19.
"The national serosurvey by ICMR was designed to capture the extent of the spread of COVID-19 infection at the national level. Therefore, the national serosurvey results do not reflect the heterogeneity of seroprevalence between districts and even between states," the statement said.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)