Surveillance of COVID-19
Well-designed, representative sentinel surveillance systems in primary and secondary care remain the core surveillance method for acute viral respiratory infections. These can provide robust data for monitoring the spread and intensity of respiratory virus activity and circulating variant viruses. Data from other non-sentinel sources or registry-based systems provide complementary information including molecular information on circulating variant viruses. Surveillance informs public health measures, hospital capacities, the impact of vaccination programmes, and other control measures.
The ECDC and WHO Regional Office for Europe issued surveillance objectives and operational considerations for the integrated surveillance of influenza, COVID-19, and other respiratory virus infections in Europe to support the continuity of national surveillance systems and public health laboratories for epidemiological and virological surveillance for influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and other potential respiratory viruses .
To increase the samples available for sequencing to identify SARS-CoV-2 variant viruses, additional specimens from other non-sentinel surveillance systems could be included. Targeted surveillance including molecular surveillance of either specific populations or related to selected settings are approaches which could provide relevant data.