Survey Results this week to decide India’s Corona strategy

India’s Corona strategy going forward will be determined by a critical ICMR Sero Study findings that will be released this week. This is a study similar to what was done in other countries.

What are Sero tests?

Serologic tests are blood tests that look for antibodies in the blood. They focus on proteins made by the immune system. The immune system defends against viruses by producing antibodies. ICMR is looking for what % of Indians are carrying these antibodies that have overcome the Novel Coronavirus. A very high incidence means Indians have a strong resistance to COVID-19.

A summary of what was found in Spain and New York State –

  • In Spain, a total of 288000 cases were detected using COVID tests. However the Sero study found out that the actual number may be 8 times higher at more than 2 million
  • In New York State too it seems to be 8 to 9 times higher
  • If the India results end up being the same, India actually had 2 million cases till date and not 2.5 lakhs as found through COVID tests
  • Since India scaled up testing at a much lower rate than other countries it is likely that India’s real infection rate could be much higher and in many millions.

ICMR Sero Survey details

  • This household level cross-sectional survey will cover 24,000 adults
    distributed equally across four strata of districts categorized on the basis of reported cases of COVID-19.
  • Overall, the survey will be conducted in randomly selected 69 districts from 21 States. The survey will involve collection of venous blood samples from 400 randomly selected individuals (one per household) from 10 clusters in each district.
  • Sera from these individuals will be tested for presence of IgG antibodies using ELISA test developed by ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune