The ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition and Government of Telangana on Tuesday, January 4, launched a state-wide SARS-CoV-2 sero-survey. The survey will be conducted among general population and healthcare workers, in all the districts of Telangana, and aims to assess the extent of community spread of the coronavirus infection in the state. The sero-prevalence will be assessed by examining the SARS-CoV-2, IgG antibodies in the blood samples to be collected from the general population and Health Care Workers (HCW) across the districts, said Dr Avula Laxmaiah, Scientist â€˜Gâ€™ and Head, Public Health division of ICMR-NIN who is leading the survey.
The house-to-house survey will cover 330 villages in all the 33 districts and several wards of the state. The state government is supporting this survey. The state health department and other administrative departments are collaborating with ICMR-NIN. About 16,000 people will be covered in this survey. The authorities will select 10 villages randomly in each of the 33 districts and from each village 40 people above 6 years of age, both males and females will be covered.
"In addition, samples and data will also be collected from healthcare workers in all the districts", said Dr Avula Laxmaiah. "Over 20 teams each with a scientist/doctor, technician and phlebotomist, four coordinators, one Lead Scientist from NIN will work in tandem with the state health department to complete the survey in about 3 weeks," said Dr Hemalatha R, Director, ICMR-NIN.
Meanwhile, the Telangana government on Monday, January 3, announced holidays for all educational institutions in the state from January 8 to January 16 in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases. At a meeting with officials to review the pandemic situation in the state, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao directed the Education Department to declare holidays for educational institutions. The health officials briefed the Chief Minister during the meeting that as per the guidelines issued by the Union government, the current situation in the state does not call for declaring a lockdown.