Telangana should prepare for another sero survey, say doctors

The government had often conducted this survey in the last two years.

Published: 03rd January 2023 05:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2023 05:17 AM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purposes

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Even though the State is recording a lesser number of Covid-19 cases, the central government is on a high state of alert, following a spike in cases in China, South Korea, and many other countries. In view of the possible surge in the cases, experts are suggesting that the State should conduct another sero survey.

“Even if there is a surge, it will not be very serious, as antibody levels in the people of the State are already high due to vaccination. However, if the cases increase with severity we surely need to conduct the serosurvey to understand whether the antibody levels are optimal or decreasing,” Dr M Rajeev, consultant pulmonologist at M R Chest Hospital in Suryapet says.

A serosurvey involves testing of blood serum from a group of individuals to know the number of antibodies present in them. People who have antibodies against Covid-19 have a lesser chance to get seriously affected by and spread the infection. The government had often conducted this survey in the last two years. “It is not recommended to conduct the actual survey immediately.

However, the State government should have the resources ready and conduct the survey whenever it becomes necessary,” says Dr Subodh Kandamuthan, Director, Dr Kakarla Subbarao Centre for Healthcare Management at ASCI. The government can collaborate with various health institutions present in the State while using the data collected internally through district-level committees, he adds.

The last serosurvey in Telangana, conducted by the State government during the Omicron wave, revealed that 92.9% of the population had developed antibodies against the virus.  The survey, which was done approximately a year ago between January 4 and February 2, 2022, covered 14,179 participants from the general population and 3,843 healthcare workers. The percentage of people having antibodies must have increased by now as most of the people of the State have already taken two shots of the Covid-19 vaccine. Also, almost all people must have been infected by the virus at least once.

Will cases rise after Jan 15?
“There is a suspicion that from January 15 onwards, the cases of Covid-19 are going to increase. There is an argument that since we have achieved herd immunity, the risk will be low. However, it doesn’t discount the importance of the sero survey,” says Dr Subodh. “We have no idea how the new variant is going to hit us. People with co-morbidities are going to be impacted,” he adds.


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