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Delhi to have Sero-Surveillance Every Month

To check the prevalence of Covid-19 in the capital, the Delhi government along with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) conducted a Serological Survey from 27th June to 10th July. After the results for the survey were released on Tuesday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain announced that Delhi will now have a Sero-Surveillance every month.

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Serology test or Serological Survey is done to identify the presence of antibodies and antigens in a person’s blood. It is done to know whether a person has immunity to a certain disease or not. Such tests are largely conducted in communities to keep a check on the spread of the disease. It can include patients who have already tested positive or even those who are asymptomatic.

A serological survey from time to time can help plan the future course of action against tackling a disease. In Delhi, the serological survey was conducted in all the 11 districts. A total of 21, 387 samples were selected on a random basis.

Results of Sero-Survey Conducted in Delhi

The results for the survey were released on Tuesday by the Union Health Ministry.

  • The study found out, that, on an average, the prevalence of IgG antibodies in people across Delhi is of 23.48%. This when adjusted with the sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA testing kits, comes out to be 22.86%. Therefore, only 22.86% of the capital has been affected by the disease.
  • 8 out of 11 districts in Delhi have more than 20% of sero-prevalence. Areas of Central Delhi (27.86%), Shahadra (27.68%), and North-east (27.7%) had the most sero-prevalence. Whereas, the South-West district (12.95%) had the least of them.
  • Results point out that a large number of infected people were asymptomatic
  • Also, the rest 77% of Delhi’s population, remains exposed to the disease.
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How will the Government tackle the situation?

The results from the Sero-survey indicate that even though only one-fourth of Delhi’s population got affected by the disease, 77% of people remain vulnerable. This means the government will have to take steps accordingly.

The Union Ministry while addressing this emphasized upon the use of strict measures to contain the spread of the disease.

“Non-pharmacological interventions such as physical distancing, use of face mask/cover, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and avoidance of crowded places, etc. must be followed strictly”, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The Delhi government is yet to come up with a strategy based on the Serological Survey results. However, it is expected that the government might continue with containment zones in affected areas.

Apart from this, looking into the importance and usage of the Serological Survey, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain announced on Wednesday that every month, a Sero-surveillance test would be conducted in Delhi. This would be done from 1st to 5th of every month.

Present Situation in Delhi

The data from the serological survey depicts the condition for the 3rd week of June. At that time, Delhi was seeing a constant spike in daily cases.

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However, in the past few days, Delhi has seen a dramatic decline in daily cases. The recovery rate for the capital has also gone up. Even though this is good news, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal asked the people to ‘not to be complacent’. “We should always be prepared for the worst”, he tweeted.

At present, the total number of cases in Delhi stands at 1,25,096. Out of these, almost 1,06,118 have recovered whereas more than 15,000 cases remain active.   

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Written By Shiwangi, She is doing her Masters in Mass Communication from GGS IP University, New Delhi.

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