July 21, 2021 6:45:34 am
THE preliminary results of the serosurvey of the adult population of Chandigarh, being carried out by Department of Biochemistry, GMCH-32, have revealed the presence of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in 79.4 per cent of the adult population of Chandigarh.
The study aims to collect 1,200 samples from 30 randomly selected clusters in Chandigarh, which would include population-based representation of urban, rural and rehabilitation colonies.
Of the 132 participants from the rural areas tested so far, 91 have tested positive (68.8 per cent) for the presence of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Similarly, in the eight clusters from urban sectors and five clusters in the colonies tested so far, sero prevalence has been found to be 83.5 per cent and 79.8 per cent respectively.
The seropositivity has thus been found to be more in the urban areas, as compared to rural areas. The seropositivity indicates that the antibodies against SARS-Co developed naturally following Covid-19 infection or after vaccination.
The complete results of the study, says Dr Jasbinder Kaur, Director Principal, GMCH-32 and head of the Department of Biochemistry, would provide a more accurate reflection of the true extent of SARS-CoV-2 sero-prevalence amongst the adult population of Chandigarh.
This, she adds, would help us understand the prevalence of disease, as well as the immune response to Covid vaccination and enable the health authorities to work out better mitigation strategies for the further prevention and control of the disease.
“We have completed the work of sample collection, and the final testing is being done. The serosurvey has been a team effort, with four investigators, technicians, doctors, working for more than a month and we have faced our share of
challenges. People did not come forward on their own for this serosurvey, many had apprehensions, would see the teams and shut the door. But the team worked with the people to ensure all samples were collected in about a month and the effort has been worth it,” says Dr Kaur.
While she agrees that the results of the serosurvey indicate that the large population of the UT has been previously infected with COVID-19, and we could have achieved herd immunity, Dr Kaur says that it is too premature to say anything about the third wave, as the virus is so unpredictable and there could be new mutations, so we cannot let our guard down and have to strictly follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated.
“The results give us hope to brave another wave, but we cannot be callous,” she sums up.
Meanwhile, PGIMER director Professor Jagat Ram said that the latest results of the serosurvey for paediatric cases of the age group of 6-18 years, which began on June 24, indicate that there are 67.4 per cent children in the sector areas, 74.3 per cent in rural areas and 73.2 per cent in colony areas of the city who have Covid-19 antibodies.
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