Mumbai starts large-scale sero-surveillance for COVID-19

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MUMBAI, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Mumbai has commenced large-scale sero-surveillance to monitor the trend of COVID-19 infection as state-owned regulator Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) urged all states to conduct such independent surveys.

Mumbai, with 28,366 active COVID-19 cases out of the 72,287 confirmed cases on Friday night, had last month conducted one sero-surveillance of 500 samples under ICMR.

Sero-surveillance provides estimates of antibody levels against vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) and is considered the gold standard for measuring population immunity due to past infection or vaccination.

The large-scale survey will be done by the city's civic authority BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Indian government's think tank National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and a public deemed university Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, a statement by BMC said late Friday.

The base line survey, for which the required ethical approval has been obtained, will determine the social and demographic risk factors for COVID-19 infection and help in understanding the geographical spread of the disease in the general population followed by subsequent rounds, the statement said.

A total of 10,000 blood samples above the age of 12 years for detecting IgG anti-bodies will be collected as random samples from slum and non-slum areas in the city. The detection of antibodies is a sign of exposure to COVID-19 infection.

With a population of 18.4 million, India's financial capital accounts for over 14 percent of the country's total active cases and has so far reported 4,177 deaths.

The total COVID-19 cases in India has surpassed half-a-million mark on Saturday, reaching 508,953, as the death toll reached 15,685, confirmed the latest data released by the federal health ministry. Enditem

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