A group working under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is all set to release a calculator, which will be an online early warning tool for district authorities to forecast local COVID-19 spikes after taking into consideration various epidemiological factors at any given time.
The initiative comes amid the understanding that districts that have observed low seroprevalence may see pandemic surges. The senior authorities in the health ministry and the ICMR(Indian Council Of Medical Research) said that it is an effort to use local data in order to take action because of the current situation.
At the same time, they added that such a tool is necessary amid uncertainty about when and where the next surge might take place.
"The idea is to handover a tool to the states in the coming days so that they are able to predict and foresee the Covid numbers and then switch on measures accordingly," said a joint secretary in the ministry as reported by The New Indian Express.
Inputs From Authorities To Make It Work
The fourth round of nationwide serosurvey conducted by ICMR in July found that overall nearly 68 per cent of people in India might have already been exposed to the virus. However, it also meant that nearly 30-40 crore people were still susceptible.
"The geographic distribution of the susceptible population makes local early warning alerts important, and that is why we are working on this calculator," informed the official.
In order to make it work, authorities would need to input numbers such as seropositivity rate, speed of infection and spread into the system. The tool will then forecast the probability of a surge.
"As of now, this calculator is being given the final touches, and the health ministry too is guiding us," another ICMR official said.
For developing the simulator, members of the ICMR working group are seeking inputs from various states such as Kerala.