The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 10 April decided to conduct a population-based serosurvey in select districts across the country. The new sampling procedures will act as a method of trend-checking and will be used to test healthcare workers, non-respiratory disease patients, and pregnant women.
• "There is a need to establish systematic surveillance for Covid-19 infection in all districts of the country. This surveillance will be in addition to the routine testing as per current testing guidelines," the MOHFW note read.
• "Besides facility-based surveillance, ICMR/NCDC in collaboration with key stakeholders and state health departments is initiating a population-based serosurvey in selected districts representing case detection across the country," the ministry said.
• The surveillance unit will consist of 10 health facilities (including 6 public and 4 private) from each district. Among the low-risk population, outpatient attendees (non-ILI patients) and pregnant women will be tested while among the high-risk population healthcare workers will be surveyed.
• At least 100 samples per week and 400 per month from selected districts among the high- risk population, 50 samples per week, and 200 per month of outpatient attendees (Non-ILI patients), as well as pregnant women will be collected. The survey will include a total of 200 samples per week and 800 samples per month for the purpose.
• Throat and nasal swabs will be collected for RT-PCR tests and samples tested in a one time pool of 25.
• "In addition to throat/nasal swabs, blood samples should be collected for detecting IgG antibodies for ELISA testing. In subsequent rounds, IgG ELISA-based testing of serum samples will replace RT-PCR based testing for surveillance purposes," said the ministry.
The method will be jointly implemented across the country by the district and state health administration, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, National Centre for Disease Control, Indian Council of Medical Research institutes, community medicine departments of medical colleges and public health institutes, said the ministry.
Note: This is a brief compilation. Please refer to the original document attached as pdf.