BMC gears up for more sero-surveillance in cityUpdated: Jun 01, 2020 00:10 IST
In a bid to ascertain the spread of the coronavirus in Mumbai, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has decided to widen the scope of sero-surveillance in the city.
Sero-surveillance is done through a blood test to get an estimate of anti-body levels against vaccine preventable diseases. The surveillance can give an idea of the spread of Covid-19 in general population and immunity against it and help authorities strengthen contact-tracing and containment strategies. The survey is done by collection of blood samples from individuals in randomly selected households. The presence of antibodies in the blood is a sign of exposure to the virus. It is done after taking patients’ consent and their detailed history.
BMC officials said the first round of collecting 500 samples from areas such as Dharavi, Kurla, Kandivli, Govandi etc has been completed and its test results are now awaited.“Sero-surveillance of 500 samples from areas such as Dharavi, Kurla, Kandivli and Govandi has been completed. However, the reports from the ICMR are awaited. The ICMR has informed us that more samples will be collected after the results of these 500 are out,” said Daksha Shah, deputy executive officer of BMC.
According to BMC officials, the modalities of sample size, collection locations are yet to be worked
out, but deliberation is going on to select samples of high-risk and low-risk contacts from all 24 wards in the city. “We are yet to work out the modalities of what could be the sample size and which areas will be included. Nothing is finalised yet. There will be a scientific method for deciding these parameters,” Shah said.
Meanwhile, the case count in city touched 39,686 on Sunday. Of the total 38,442 cases reported, as of Saturday, 30,630 cases were reported in May. The number is slightly lower than the projection of 45,000 by May 31. The total number of deaths in the city stands at 1279.
“We had projected around 45,000 cases earlier considering we contain the spread, the revised estimate was of around 40,000 cases by May 31,’’ said Shah.
On Sunday, 38 new cases were reported in Dharavi taking the total to 1,771. Dharavi falls in G North ward which has the highest number of positive cases in the city. As of Sunday, G North ward reported 2,900 cases.
The BMC’s discharge rate is 46% against national average of 42.8 %, followed by death rate at 3.2% whereas the national average is 3 %. The doubling rate of positive cases in Mumbai is 16 days, as of Saturday.
The BMC is yet to decide on the manner in which the new relaxations will be implemented in the city. A BMC official said, “On Monday, there is a meeting with the municipal commissioner to decide the operating guidelines on opening up the city.”