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Saturday, 22 August 2020

Start sero survey in Chandigarh, Administrator asks PGI

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21

Despite the UT Administrator asking the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) to start sero testing in city's hotspots, no significant progress has been made till now in this regard. Meanwhile, the UT Administration has once again asked the PGIMER to carry out sero survey in Chandigarh.

A senior official of the UT Administration informed, "The PGIMER has been asked to conduct sero survey. The institute will be working on it and convey to us when and how they will do it."

However, the PGIMER authorities have denied responding to queries about sero survey in Chandigarh.

The official press note of the UT Administration's war room meeting dated July 29 states: "The Administrator has directed the PGIMER authorities to start sero testing of healthcare workers and also in certain hotspots as per their own assessment."

On the other side, Panchkula and Mohali have already begun sero survey in their respective districts and its results are likely to be released soon. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Punjab Government jointly started a two-day serological (or sero) survey at Jawaharpur village in Mohali district recently.

The survey has already started in Panchkula in association with the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Dr KK Talwar, Punjab Government's advisor on health and former PGIMER director said, "Sero surveillance was carried in May with the help of the ICMR. At that time, the infection spread was bare minimum. Now, we have again carried out sero survey in containment zones of Punjab, including Jawarharpur village in Mohali district."

"Now, testing and contact tracing should be enhanced as Covid cases are rising in Chandigarh. Sero surveillance is conducted only after the infection has occurred for a longer time. If results of sero survey are low, it implies that herd immunity has not developed in society and preventive strategy is needed to control the infection," Dr Talwar added.

The serological survey involves collecting blood samples to determine whether a person is infected with the novel coronavirus. It will also be used to detect whether the person was infected with the said virus in the past and identify antibodies being produced to combat Covid-19.

The serological test is not prescribed to diagnose active Covid-19 infections as it takes one to three weeks for the body to develop antibodies after getting infected with virus.

from The Tribune

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