The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will complete its second national serology survey by September 5. The results from the serosurvey it conducted in May will be published next week, Director General Balram Bhargava said in a media briefing on Tuesday.
“The ICMR sero survey is publication in-process. Hopefully, by this week, it should appear in the Indian Journal of Medical Research. Two rounds of peer-review have been done. Most of the sero surveys have been conducted by the States. We have embarked on the second sero survey, which should be completed by the first week of September,” he said.
The first serological survey by ICMR encompassed 69 districts across 21 States and the findings indicated that an estimated 7,00,000 people could have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in these districts even in early May.
The number indicated by the survey was twenty times higher than the 35,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported as of early May in the entire country, suggesting that the actual COVID-19 count overall could have been underestimated by a factor of at least 20.
The May serosurvey was the first of its kind survey and was followed up by smaller surveys commissioned by States. Delhi has done two surveys as has Maharashtra. Blood samples are drawn from a sample population and checked for the presence of antibodies to the virus.