The next round of monthly sero-prevalence survey in the national capital is slated to begin on Tuesday, with authorities gearing up for the exercise to further analyse the COVID-19 situation in Delhi. Sources said the sample size this time is likely to be about 17,000. However, there was no official confirmation on its scale.
The last sero-prevalence survey was held from August 1 to 7, according to which antibodies against COVID-19 infection were found in 29.1 per cent of people surveyed in the national capital. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain while announcing the results of the August survey earlier this month had told reporters that 15,000 representative samples were taken from 11 districts, and that the next exercise was to begin from September 1.
The minister had also said that prevalence of antibodies found in men was 28.3 per cent, and 32.2 per cent in women. Sero-prevalence of antibodies found in age groups of less than 18 was 34.7 per cent, in 18-50 years 28.5 per cent, and 31.2 per cent in 50 years and above. The sources said the September round of survey will be held over five days, and also likely to follow similar protocols as in the previous exercise.
The exercise was undertaken in the first week of August for a comprehensive assessment of the COVID-19 situation in Delhi and to formulate strategies based on its findings. The sero-prevalence survey before the August exercise, done from June 27 to July 10 by the Delhi government in association with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), had used 21,387 samples and found that around 23 per cent of the people surveyed had an exposure to the novel coronavirus.
"The rise, rather than the exponential rise is not there. So, people are taking safety precautions it seems. But, we cannot afford to be complacent and lower our guard," Jain had said on August 20. The national capital had seen spurt in daily cases in the last several days and steady rise in active cases since August 5.
Delhi recorded 1,358 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking the tally in the city to over 1.74 lakh while the death toll from the disease mounted to 4,444, authorities said. On Sunday, Delhi had recorded 2,024 fresh cases, the highest single-day spike in the city in August till date. It was also the highest spurt in the last nearly 50 days in Delhi.
On Saturday, the city reported 1,954 cases and in the preceding two days, the city had recorded cases in excess of 1,800. The active COVID-19 cases tally on Monday was 14,626. About 15,000 samples were collected as part of the August exercise, spanning different areas and age groups, gender and economic class, he said.
Out of the total number of samples, 25 per cent were taken from the age group of less than 18 years, another 50 per cent from the 18-49 years age bracket and remaining 25 per cent from those in the age group of 50 years or more. The sero-prevalence found in Northeast district was 29 per cent, South district 27 per cent, South East 33 per cent and New Delhi 24 per cent, Jain had said.
Jain on July 22 had announced that after analysing the results of the June-July survey, it was decided that more such exercises would be done every month to formulate better policies for tackling the COVID-19 situation in the national capital.