For the last almost ten days India’s rise of new COVID-19 cases per day hovered around just below the 10000 tag, and finally the mark was breached as India reported over 10500 new cases in the latest twenty-hour period with number of deaths per day crossing the 300 mark intended for last three days. Meanwhile to get valuable insights into the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in India the serological survey was conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in May, 2020 in collaboration with state health departments, National Centre regarding Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), India. The research was conducted in 83 zones covering 28, 595 households and 26, 400 individuals. The study discovered a few good-news results and a few mixed ones. Before going into the findings inform us what exactly is a Serological or a Sero survey.
Serology is the scientific study associated with serum and other body fluids which practice means the diagnostic identification of antibodies in the serum. Like antibodies are typically formed in response to a contamination, like here the COVID-19 outbreak, or against other foreign healthy proteins. Experts say that Serological tests may be performed to diagnose infections and autoimmune illnesses to check if an individual has immunity to certain diseases, and in many cases the person’s susceptibility as per his/her blood group. Serological tests could also be used in forensic serology in criminal offense scenario investigations. Serological surveys give the most direct measurement to specify the immunity landscape for many contagious diseases, yet this methodology continues to be under-exploited, experts comment. In this framework India has done a tremendous job within conducting a serosurvey. If a person is positive for antibody check under serology this means that the person may have had symptomatic or asymptomatic illness in the past, in this case COVID-19, and need still to protect himself/herself in future, because there is no proof that the person may or may not have the infections again. For a negative antibody effect the person might not have had any COVID-19 infection in the past, and would need shielding measures in the future.
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The Director Common of ICMR narrated the results of the serosurvey in a press briefing lately. He first dwelt on the good-news part: in India the percentage of infected persons per hundred thousand is the lowest in the world and thus is the fatality rate (0. 08%). The study also clearly points out the fact that measures taken during the lockdown have been successful in keeping the transmission reduced and in preventing rapid spread associated with COVID-19, he added. However , he or she revealed that compared to rural places, risk of spread is one 09 times higher in urban areas and 1 . 89 times increased in urban slums. Therefore , this individual stated that still large areas of the Indian population are vunerable to getting the infection and the states/union territories of the country must not let their own guard down at any cost. He concluded with the warning that although at the moment the spread of the virus is just not a matter of grave concern for India the virus may come back stronger.
In the further reassurance gesture the American indian Health Ministry official also said that the numbers in India really should not be compared with that of various other countries because of India’s vast population and a high population density. In the context of the ensuing media ‘investigations’ into hospital lapses based largely on stray cases and in selected states just, the official parried a question by saying a suspected case of COVID infection should first report to the help-line of that particular area and follow the instructions given regarding tests to be done, when and where, instead of directly approaching the hospital of his/her option.
As experts all across the world are actually repeatedly saying that the killer computer virus is in no hurry to depart humankind alone the people, the governments, the medical fraternity, the police and law enforcement authorities and the media in India too must learn to adjust to the new challenge of living with the virus and take all precautions as notified instead of panicking, beating around the bush and create an atmosphere associated with mistrust and doubts. During this time of the worst crisis ever faced simply by humanity an united fight should be the motto all over, particularly for India where politics, conflicts and preventable dissents occur at the slightest pretext.
Chinmay Chakravarty is a professional specialized in the creative field with more than two decades of experience in journalistic writing, media co-ordination, film script writing, film dubbing, film & video making, management of worldwide film festivals and editing associated with books & journals. Proficient in offering professional services in these related fields. Was an officer of Indian native Information Service and superannuated through the post of Director, Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in November, 2019. Published his first solo reserve ‘Laugh and Let Laugh’ within 2017.