Results of the sero-prevalence survey conducted in Delhi in the first week of August, to better assess the city's COVID-19 situation, is expected to be announced this week, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Tuesday.
The exercise was undertaken from August 1-7 for comprehensive assessment of the COVID-19 situation in Delhi and to formulate strategies based on its findings.
Sero-prevalence survey involves testing blood serum of individuals to check for prevalence of antibodies against the viral infection. Jain said the previous survey done from June 27-July 10 had shown that about 24 per cent of people sampled had shown presence of antibodies, meaning they were affected by COVID-19.
The fresh survey was undertaken to find out the situation in the city since the previous sampling so that better decisions can be made to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, he said. "The result of the latest sero-survey is expected this week," Jain told reporters.
Over 15,000 samples were collected as part of this exercise, spanning different areas and age groups. Representative samples were taken from all 11 districts of the national capital. The new sero-prevalence survey in the national capital excluded those who were part the previous exercise.
All districts were to ensure that out of total number of samples, 25 per cent are of those younger than 18 years, another 50 per cent are in the age group of 18-49 years and remaining 25 per cent of those in the age group of 50 years or more, according to SOPs prescribed by Delhi's Directorate General of Health Services. Jain had last month announced that after analysing the results of the June-July survey, it was decided that more such exercises would be undertaken every month to formulate better policies for tackling the COVID-19 situation in the city.
Delhi recorded 787 fresh coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the tally in the city to over 1.53 lakh, while the death toll due to the disease mounted to 4,214, authorities said. Over reports of some people testing COVID-19 positive again after recovery, he said, "Experts are of the opinion that sometimes, a person tests positive again after a few weeks is because of the residual dead virus present in the body."
"No one has tested positive again after a gap of two to three months post recovery," Jain said. Asserting that the government is doing proper surveillance and screening for cases, he said, "We are monitoring the crowd at railway stations too, and if anyone is suspected to be infected, we screen them.
"All our dispensaries are carrying out tests. There are about 250 such testing centres," Jain added.