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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Punjab: Armed with ELISA kits, state set to kickstart sero surveillance

A Punjab government functionary said the kits were received on Friday and the testing was likely to begin shortly by identifying the focus areas for the testing.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh | August 17, 2020 3:34:22 am
Army Institute, armed forces treatment, AICTS, Coronavirus cases, Pune news, Indian express newsOf the 80 deaths registered at AICTS so far, six were brought in dead. (Representational)

Punjab is set to begin sero surveillance in the state as it has received 5,000 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits for testing.

A Punjab government functionary said the kits were received on Friday and the testing was likely to begin shortly by identifying the focus areas for the testing.

In sero surveillance, antibody testing is done to ascertain if someone contracted the Covid-19 infection, did not go for testing and recovered from the infection. The antibody testing is done to determine the presence of antibodies in reaction of someone getting infected.

Sero surveys are primarily aimed at ascertaining the scale of the spread of the infection.

Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, Punjab’s nodal officer for Covid-19, said that areas which were earlier declared as containment and micro-containment zones in the state and were later declassified as such zones were likely to be selected for anti-body testing to judge the scale of infection in those areas.

He added, “The strategy for sero surveillance is under consideration of committee of experts and is likely to be finalised soon.”

Containment and micro-containment zones are dynamic in nature and depending upon the quantum of cases, they are classified or declassified as such.

Punjab has so far done more than 7.5 lakh tests for the infection in the state, the majority of them using RT-PCR technique of testing. The total number of tests also includes tests done using rapid antigen testing, TrueNAT testing and CB-NAAT testing.

Apart from setting up four new testing laboratories, Punjab has also ramped up rapid antigen testing which gives results in relatively much lesser time as compared to RT-PCR testing.

Out of the 60,000 rapid antigen kits the state received, around 28,000 tests have already been conducted and around 2,700 of them have tested positive, said a government functionary.

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