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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: With Bhubaneswar witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases, the authorities are all set to kick off the second sero survey in the city from tomorrow.

As per official sources, five teams will collect samples simultaneously from various locations across the city. Around 1,500 samples will be randomly collected in the second round of sero-surveillance which will continue for two days in 25 wards.

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said the survey will provide insights into the community exposure levels which were very low during the first round (1.42% infection).

The sero-survey will be conducted jointly by the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research, which will provide technical support, BMC and Health and the Family Welfare Department.

Dr. Jayasingh Kshatri, a scientist at RMRC said, "In the first round of survey a community sample of 900 was covered. Though it was found that the community level antibody prevalence was relatively low across the communities of the Temple City, it may be inferred that large-scale transmission has probably not occurred in the State capital.’’

According to Additional District Urban Public Health Officer (ADUPHO), Dr CVSN Rao, "The community exposure to COVID-19 virus was relatively low in city due to a plethora of enforcement measures taken by the BMC along with the Commissionerate Police. Due to use of masks, physical distancing, frequent washing of hands and community awareness, the spread was contained to a certain extent."

``A large majority of the population is still susceptible to the infection and hence all preventive measures of physical distancing, use of masks among others prescribed by the Government needs to be adhered without complacency,’’ Dr Rao added.

While addressing media, BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary last week had said that with the community exposure level of 1.42 percent, Bhubaneswar remained one of the ``safest’’ cities in the country.

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

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