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Tuesday December 07, 2021

Second round of COVID-19 sero-prevalence study completed

November 25, 2020

Islamabad : Pakistan has successfully completed the second round of COVID-19 sero-prevalence study, making it one of the few countries globally that have completed this important exercise.

As a follow-up to the first round, the second round of sero-prevalence study was conducted in 10 selected districts of Pakistan in end of October. The Health Services Academy, in collaboration with multiple partners and with the support of the World Health Organization, implemented this study. The study was aimed at monitoring the exposure to COVID-19 by detecting antibodies in samples of blood taken from randomly selected individuals.

In the second round, about 7% individuals were detected to be exposed to COVID-19 around the time survey was conducted, which was before the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases. The spread of COVID-19 is still higher in urban areas as compared to rural districts; however, the difference is decreasing over time if compared to the first round. It is recommended that appropriate SOPs and preventive measures are adopted in cities as well as smaller cities and villages by the general public.

The study also reveals that it is likely that many individuals are to remain asymptomatic, signifying the importance of using masks by all persons, on maintaining diagnostic vigilance and testing to ensure timely diagnosis of susceptible individuals.

Similar findings have been revealed by studies conducted elsewhere globally. The results of the study will have policy implications for preventative strategies, areas of focus and identification of high-risk groups for vaccination, a statement of the Ministry of Health maintains.