SRINAGAR, August 20 : India’s top medical research organisation, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is the conducting 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.
It is community-based surveillance conducted in 60 districts and 10 hot-spot sites across India to see the changing trend of population response to SARS COV-2 infection over these months. The first round of surveillance was held in May & June this year where the prevalence of immunoglobulin-Gamma (IgG) antibody titres was found 0.73 percent among general population in the country.
In the second round, the data will again be collected through app-based and blood samples will be taken to assess Ig-G against SARS-CoV-2 which will determine infection in recent past and the body’s immune response to the SARS CoV-2 infection.
Each selected site of survey collects data and blood samples of 400 participants of children over 10 years and adult population.
ICMR is conducting the study through its regional centres, however, Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General ICMR & Secretary, Department of Health Research, MOHFW, Government of India again asked Government Medical College, Srinagar to conduct the study in Pulwama district on its behalf for which it has communicated to Atal Dulloo, financial commissioner, health & medical education department, J&K.
Dr. S. Muhammad Salim Khan, HOD Community Medicine, GMC Srinagar and nodal person for ICMR national sero-survey for COVID-19 of district Pulwama said that, a team from Government Medical College Srinagar comprising faculty, resident doctors and medical interns from Department of Community Medicine (SPM) are 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.
Dr. S. Muhammad Salim Khan further said that ICMR Headquarter New Delhi, and its premier centre including National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE), Chennai is providing support in training, guidance, ELISA testing, data management, analytics and logistics support. The blood samples will be sent to ICMR lab at Chennai.
In the first round, the sero-prevalence in district Pulwama was found to be 2% which was higher than the national average of 0.73% while the recent study by GMC Srinagar in district Srinagar showed prevalence of 3.8% among general population which is almost twice than the prevalence in district Pulwama. However, this time the sero-prevalence is expected to be more than previous outcome.