BENGALURU: The Indian Council of Medical Research will study 82 districts in 25 states in the country to understand the spread of the coronavirus through randomised testing. In Karnataka, Bengaluru, Chitradurga and Kalaburagi will be part of the study, Minister Suresh Kumar, the spokesperson for COVID-19, told a press meet on Monday. This random sampling will help judge the extent of spread, and if the number of positives is negligible, it would indicate that the state is not in Stage 3, which is community transmission.
According to ICMR, the sample size per district will be 400 tests and the survey can be completed within a day with 10 teams in a district, with due preparation. Speaking about the fatality rate here, Kumar said, “80 per cent of the 16 deaths are of people who were above 60 years old, and those having SARI symptoms. In all, 29 cases in the state are of patients with SARI symptoms, 2 have Influenza Like Illness, 20 are related to the Tablighi Jamaat and 103 are contacts of others who went to the Tablighi Jamaat.”
The survey will be done using Rapid Antibody Test kits. A mobile app has been developed for this purpose by the National Informatics Centre and will be used for data entry by teams conducting the survey, with analytical support provided by ICMR.
Those surveyed will be over 18 years old in the sampled households. The team will visit the randomly selected households and brief them about the survey, after obtaining verbal consent on basic demographic details, exposure history to lab confirmed COVID-19 cases, symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 in the preceding month and clinical history. For the test, 3 to 4 drops of capillary blood will be collected.