Monthly sero-surveys, next to be conducted from August 1-5: Jain
New Delhi: After the trove of data that was made available after the results of the first Serological survey in the Capital were published, Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that the Delhi government had decided to conduct such surveys every month in both containment zones and areas outside of them. Jain added that the surveys will be conducted from the 1st till 5th of every month and that the government is working on making a detailed plan for it.
Contrary to RT-PCR tests, which are used to diagnose COVID-19, serosurveys check for antibodies in a subject and help authorities identify transmission chains and other epidemiological data that can inform the further course of action. The Delhi government has already said it is consulting experts over the first survey results to accordingly modify its action plan.
"The survey was conducted between June 27 to July 5, and the prevalence of antibodies can only be detected after 15 days of the infection. This survey report indicates the status of infection during June 15-June 30, which indicates that this is a month-old status. Many people may have gotten infected and recovered after that period," Jain said with regards to the recently conducted city-wide survey.
"Experts say that herd immunity is developed when 40 - 70 per cent of the population has recovered from COVID-19. We have received the results for 24% of the population, and therefore, we cannot say that in Delhi, herd immunity has developed within the population. I want to repeat that there is transmission in the community. Around 25 per cent of people have got infected and recovered in Delhi. But if it is community transmission or not that can be declared by the Centre only. It is a technical term," Jain said.
The Delhi government is working on a proper protocol of the sample collection. "The samples collected will not be fewer than the last time, in fact, they will be more than the last time. Infected people are not covered under serosurvey, only the ones who have recovered from the infection are covered under it, there is a difference," he said.
"This is the second survey, the first survey was done only in containment zones. This time, the survey will be conducted in the entire Delhi. Based on the results, we can now say that around 24% of the population of Delhi has now recovered from Corona," the health minister said.
Jain also spoke on purported corruption allegations regarding plasma donation. He said, "If there is any report of corruption regarding plasma donation then the government will take serious action against the people associated with such corruption." He further said that the percentage of deaths due to COVID-19 in July is far less than in June.