July 7, 2021 4:01:56 am
The interim results of the serosurvey conducted by PGIMER Chandigarh is indicating that a substantial population of children between 6 and 18 years of age have contracted the coronavirus in the past. The study, funded by UT Administration, began on June 24 and is still going-on.
To date, blood samples of 756 children have been collected for the serosurvey, of which 519 samples tested positive for IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which means almost 69 per cent of children in Chandigarh had been previously infected.
Professor Mini P Singh informed that the testing is being carried out using a high throughput CLIA machine available in the Department of Virology, so that reports can be made available in a short span of time.
Professor PVM Lakshmi is coordinating the field activity of the survey and informed that the serosurvey teams have been divided into four groups each consisting of a field investigator and a laboratory technician who undertook household visits in different sectors, villages and slums and took blood samples after obtaining informed consent from parents of the enrolled children.
Out of all children enrolled till July 4, 396 samples were collected from households of Sector 22, Sector 24, Sector 36, Sector 56 and Sector 11, which showed positivity in 65 per cent of samples (257 positive out of 396) and 360 samples were collected from households of villages, Burail, Maloya, Dhanas, Attawa and Khajeri which showed positivity of 73 per cent (262 out of 360).
These are the interim results and the study aims to collect around 2,700 samples in total, which will provide a clearer picture of the actual percentage of children between 6 and 18 years of age who had been SARS-CoV-2 infected during the first and second waves in Chandigarh.
PGI Director Professor Jagat Ram said that the survey is progressing at a good pace. “Serosurvey among the paediatric population is of utmost importance since there is news that the third wave can affect children,” he said.
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