By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi [India], June 13 (ANI): Health experts dealing with COVID-19 believe that a nationwide coronavirus serological survey will be beneficial as it will help in bringing out exact viral load and thus help in building up strategies.
Sero surveys estimate as well as monitor infection trends in the population which is specifically location-based to understand the current course of the virus.
The Centre recently announced that it would commence a nationwide sero surveillance project and has asked the States to participate for fact-based monitoring of the situation.
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, AIIMS Dr Neeraj Nischal told ANI, "Most of the COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. They may not actually seek any test or medical intervention so there can be a substantial chunk of people who have got infected but are not aware of their status. The basic role of sero surveys is to know the exact burden of infection. From this point of view, sero surveillance becomes very important because based on that one can find out which particular area has a susceptible population."
According to experts, serological surveillance specific strategies of particular areas can be built up and following them can further lower the positivity rate.
Dr Nischal said, "One can always decide a strategy based on this type of surveys. Through this, one can encourage people to take vaccination in the area and thus we can strengthen the vaccination strategy of that area. Also if a disease outbreak happens in any particular area one can impose a micro lockdown in that area and thus the vulnerable population can be protected."
A strategy can be decided based on these surveys - it could based on vaccination or a decision regarding lockdown - which can definitely help in saving lots of lives, says doctors.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will start 4th national sero survey in June to assess COVID-19 spread.
Member Health NITI Aayog Dr VK Paul on Friday said, "Preparation for national sero survey done. ICMR will begin work for the next sero survey this month. But if we want to protect our geographies we won't have to depend on national sero survey alone, we'll have to encourage states for sero surveys too."
India on Saturday reported 80,834 fresh cases and 3,303 deaths, the data released by the Union Health Ministry said. (ANI)