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ICMR will collect samples from randomly selected homes in hotspots to study community spread of COVID-19

The agency will collect samples from randomly selected houses located in the affected city wards of the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation).

ICMR will collect samples from randomly selected homes in hotspots to study community spread of COVID-19
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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will conduct a seroprevalence study across multiple districts of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, to determine the scale of community spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The agency will collect samples from randomly selected houses located in the affected city wards of the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation). Parts of Mumbai have been designated as hotspots while areas like Beed, Parbhani, and Nanded will make up for the minimally affected parts of Maharashtra for this study. 

This will be a part of the ICMR’s pan-India study which will include 85 districts from 25 states of India. The same metric will be used across all states wherein random samples from households in hotspots will be collected along with the samples from the least impacted regions or districts. This will give the authorities a very good idea of the pattern with regard to community spread of the virus. 

Samples will be collected in Mumbai’s designated wards on April 29 and April 30. While there’s no clarity on which ward will be selected for this process, it could include hotspots like G-South, G- North, E, F-North, F-South, and B wards. It is said that a total of 40 samples may be collected from each ward. The authorities added that samples will only be collected from people aged 18 and over.

The second phase of testing will begin after 15 days of the completion of the first phase, the BMC said. The third phase will be underway a couple of months after that. This study is expected to help experts understand how the virus impacts different sets of people, while also allowing them to monitor antibodies that are crucial in fighting the virus.

Dr Sujata Baweja, Head of Microbiology, Sion Hospital said, “Besides throwing light on community transmission, such a study can also tell us about asymptomatic patients.” An official mentioned that the results of this study may determine what the states decide to do with regard to the easing of the lockdown after May 3.

Also Read - Private Labs In Mumbai Currently Conducting More Tests Than Government Facilities 

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