Sero survey shows Covid-19 antibodies in 27% population of Pulwama

Srinagar: The results of second round of Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) National Sero-Survey for SARS COV-2 infection (COVID-19) has found that Covid-19 is prevalent among 27.3 per cent people in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Pertinently, in the first round of the survey, the Covid prevalence was found just 2 per cent, which was conducted in the month of May & June this year.

However, the second round of the survey has recorded considerable Covid prevalence with official communiqué issued to Kashmir News Observer (KNO) stating that 113 people out of 413 reported to be positive for Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against SARS CoV-2 Infection.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the nation’s top medical research organization conducted the second round of national sero-survey for COVID-19 titled ‘National sero-surveillance to monitor the trend of SARS-CoV-2 infection transmission in India: Community-based surveillance’ across 60 districts and 10 hot-spot sites among all states and union territories of the country to see the changing trend of population response to SARS COV-2 infection over these months since the first round was held in May & June this year where the prevalence of IgG antibody titers were found 0.73% among the general population in the country.

In the second round, in Pulwama district 413 blood samples were collected in ten different clusters and 113 reported to be positive for IgG antibodies against SARS CoV-2 Infection which makes it to 27.3% prevalence, with Sona Samilo village cluster showing highest 52.5% positive prevalence, it said.

“In the second round, the data was collected through app-based and blood samples were taken to assess immunoglobulin-Gamma (Ig-G) against SARS-CoV-2 which determines infection in recent past and the body’s immune response to the SARS CoV-2 infection. Each selected site collected data and blood samples of 413 participants of children over 10 years and adult population,” the official communiqué reads.

ICMR conducted the study through its regional centres, however the Director General ICMR & Secretary, Department of Health Research, MOHFW, Government of India Dr. Balram Bhargava had again asked Government Medical College, Srinagar to conduct the study in Pulwama district on its behalf.

A team from Government Medical College Srinagar comprising faculty, resident doctors and medical interns from Department of Community Medicine (SPM) were deputed by Dr. Samia Rashid, principal/ dean, GMC Srinagar for conducting the survey in ICMR assigned ten clusters in district Pulwama with full support and cooperation from Deputy Commissioner Pulwama Dr. Raghav Langer, Chief Medical Officer, Pulwama Dr. Hassina Mir and health teams including doctors, laboratory technicians and other paramedical staff at district level while ICMR Headquarter New Delhi, and its premier centres including National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE), Chennai provided support in training, guidance, ELISA testing, data management, analytics and logistics support, Dr. S. Muhammad Salim Khan, HOD Community Medicine, GMC Srinagar and nodal person for ICMR national ser-survey for COVID-19 of district Pulwama.

The Pulwama study was coordinated by Dr. Inaamul Haq and Dr. Mariya Amin Qurieshi Assistant Professors in the community medicine department, Government Medical College Srinagar.  The blood samples were sent to ICMR lab at Chennai.

“In the first round, the sero-prevalence in district Pulwama was found to be just 2 per cent in June earlier this year. We still need to follow SOPs religiously to prevent further spread of COVID-19 Infection in the community which include wearing masks, social distancing and hand hygiene,” it added.

Notably, the eldest positive cases are 75 years old (3 males, 1 Female) while youngest was 11 year old girl.

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