Karnataka launches second serosurvey | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Karnataka launched its second serosurvey earlier this week (January 25) with the objective of determining the extent of exposure people have had to the SARS-CoV2 virus.
Besides the 30 districts, each of the eight zones in BBMP has been considered a separate unit for the survey. In each of the 38 units, 1,050 people above 18 years of age will be tested for Covid-19 antibodies.
Those who will be tested will include pourakarmikas, vendors, unvaccinated healthcare workers, people accompanying patients to hospitals and pregnant women frequenting hospitals. Select populations will be categorised as low, moderate, and high risk groups. A total of 290 healthcare centres across the 38 units has been chosen for the survey.
“We consider pregnant women and attendees of patients visiting OPDs as low risk groups,” said technical expert committee members involved with the survey.
Bus conductors, auto drivers and vendors in vegetable markets, healthcare workers ranging from doctors to receptionists in hospitals (who are not vaccinated for Covid), pourakarmikas and those who work in congregation settings such as markets, bus stops, malls, railway station and hotel staff will fall in the moderate risk category.
The high risk category will include elderly segments of the population and those with comorbidities.
“Those who are already infected, people have been vaccinated, those unwilling to provide blood samples for tests, those refusing to provide informed consent and those who were part of the first serosurvey will be excluded,” said health department officials.
Those participating in the survey will undergo both Covid-19 and antibody tests. Blood test for IgG antibodies will signal an infection in the recent past. However, unlike the first survey, this time, the government will conduct only RT-PCR tests on swab samples.
“Analysis of survey data will be useful for decision-making at the unit level and officials can mount a response,” a release from the health department said.
The first serosurvey conducted between July and August 2020, showed close to 16% of the population had already been exposed to the virus.
Nine ICMR-approved labs have been mapped to conduct tests. Besides National Institute of Virology, Nimhans and Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute in Bengaluru, they include one government medical college each in Mysuru, Hubballi, Kalaburagi, Ballari, Shivamogga, and Hassan.
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Sagar Biswas

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