August 11, 2021 5:44:57 am
WITH AN aim to ascertain the immunity levels developed by city residents against Covid-19 and identify vulnerable pockets, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) launched the first sero survey on Monday.
As part of the survey, 26 special teams formed by the RMC started collecting samples of people from various age groups in 50 clusters of the city on Monday. The civic body targets to collect 1,800 samples of randomly selected people as part of the survey over the next week, Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Amit Arora said.
“The objective is to basically find out what antibody concentration and what immunity people have. It will give us an idea as to what pockets of the population have been exposed to the infection. It will help us devise appropriate medical response, for example, what areas are to be targeted for surveillance, which areas are to be targeted for vaccination,” Arora told The Indian Express adding the survey was being undertaken as per directions and guidance of the state government.
With this, RMC becomes the first urban local body and second overall in Saurashtra to conduct such survey. Rajkot district panchayat has collected around 1700 samples for a similar survey and its results are awaited.
Aashish Kumar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, said that for the purpose of sampling, the city has been divided into 50 clusters and the survey teams would collect 36 samples from each of them.
“The survey will cover children falling in the age group of 5-9 years, 10-18 years and adults above 18 years. From each cluster, the survey teams would collect four samples of children falling in the 5-9 year age group, eight samples from children of 10-18 years and 24 of the people above 18 years old. Those 24 will include 12 men and an equal number of women,” Kumar said.
These clusters have been based on areas of polio booths, officers said.
“We have formed 26 teams for the survey. Each team comprises one laboratory technician, one MPHW (multi-purpose health worker), one ASHA (accredited social heath activist) worker and one supervisor. They will enter details of each sample in KoBoTools platform and hand the sample over to the microbiology department of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Medical College for analysis,” Dr Lalit Vanja, Municipal Officer of Health (MoH) of Rajkot said.
Officers of the RMC health department said that of the around 12 lakh adults in the city, 8.71 lakh or approximately 80 per cent have been given the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. More than three lakh of them have received both doses. The Municipal Commissioner said that ideally, a sero survey should include 20 per cent non-vaccinated population and health officers said they are doing it.
A senior officer of the RMC health department said that results of the survey are expected within a week after sample collection gets over. “As around 80 percent of city residents have been administered at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, the survey will also give us an idea of efficacy of the vaccine,” the official said.
Rajkot city has so far recorded 42,800 Covid-19 cases and the district, including RMC and Rajkot rural, has so far recorded 723 deaths due to the disease.
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