Press Release  

ICMR Initiated sentinel Surveillance to detect community transmission of COVID-19


New Delhi, March 19, 2020: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex health research body of India has been the nodal authority for testing of patients for COVID-19. The Council has been closely monitoring the presence of community transmissions in the country.


Since February 15, ICMR has initiated sentinel surveillance to detect community transmission of COVID19. The surveillance sites have been scaled up from 16 sites till Feb 29, 2020 to 51 sites by March 15, 2020. 


Till date, a total of 826 samples of the people suffering from severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) /influenza like illnesses have been tested at the sites. None of the samples were found positive. 


In view of the evolving nature of COVID19 transmission, the surveillance is being expanded to include more areas specially areas where COVID19 cases have been reported. 


About ICMR: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world. ICMR’s research agenda align with the National health priorities. These efforts are undertaken with a view to reduce the total burden of disease and to promote health and well-being of the population. ICMR promotes biomedical research in the country through intramural as well as extramural research. Visit us at 


For more details

Dr Rajni Kant 

Director, Regional Medical Research Centre & Head, Research Management, Policy, Planning and Coordination, ICMR 

Email: | Phone: +91-98912-74684 


Dr Nivedita Gupta 

Scientist F, Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Division, ICMR Email: | Phone: +91-84475-09008 


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