Hyderabad: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institution of Nutrition (NIN), in association with the Telangana government, has taken up a rapid survey in five containment zones, selected at random, in Hyderabad.

During the survey which began on Saturday, samples have been collected from Miyapur, Chandanagar, Tappachabutra, Balapur and Adibhatla, which will be tested to monitor the trends of community transmission of Covid-19, if any, among the general population.

This two-day survey is in continuation of the survey conducted in rural areas recently. This survey is aimed at assessing the spread of the virus and the antibody formation among the people living in urban areas.

From each containment zone, 50 samples would be collected and they will be sent to the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, which is also an ICMR affiliated institute, for analysis.

ICMR, Telangana state coordinator Dr Laxmaiah told mediapersons that a total of 250 samples would be collected every day, during the survey to be conducted today and tomorrow. They will be sent to NIRT and the results would further be sent to ICMR.

ICMR has taken up this survey in 13 cities, which are under most-affected category. Results from these samples will be compared with that of other cities and based on the analysis, further prevention and healthcare measures can be decided in the coming days, Laxmaiah said.

He said that 10 teams were deputed for the survey in Hyderabad. Each zone will have two teams, consisting each of a doctor, technician and phlebotomist.

Laxmaiah also added that, as per the guidelines, samples have to be collected only after consent from the individuals. The public are cooperating while collecting the samples and till now, nobody has raised any objection. “Our teams are collecting samples as per the ICMR guidelines. Some of the people in these containment zones who do not fall under this category are also willing to give their samples.”

NIN had earlier informed that this programme is being taken up in five containment zones or hotspot clusters selected randomly and about 500 adults – 100 from each of the clusters, will be chosen for the study.

Hyderabad is among the 13 hotspot cities across the country in 21 states. The ICMR, in the first phase, completed surveys in 69 districts across the country, including three districts in Telangana- Jangaon, Kamareddy and Nalgonda, and 1,200 samples have been collected.

Laxmaiah said reports of the surveys conducted in the first stage in the districts and present survey in urban areas, are expected by June 15.

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