June 30, 2021 10:44:46 am
THE sero survey by PGI focused on the paediatric age group of the city has started, and the initial data from the survey shows that out of the 276 samples tested, 185 were found to have antibodies.
“Today, initial data from the survey shows that out of the 276 samples tested, 185 were found to have antibodies, which means around 63.7% of children in Chandigarh have already been infected by COVID-19, and they could have got the infection from their parents or their immediate families. The data reveals that a large number of children have been infected, and gives us a clue about how the magnitude of the third wave will not be focused on children. Even in the second wave, the majority of children had mild infection, with the mortality low,” said PGIMER director Jagat Ram, adding that the survey will help in true assessment of paediatric population at risk and in detecting antibody formation in response to previous infection.
The Department of Virology of PGI is responsible for this survey, and the response to the survey has picked up over the last few days and initial sampling of about 10 per cent has been done.
The age group on which the sero survey is being conducted right now is 6 to 18 years, and Prof Ram says while they don’t expect children to be largely affected, they are prepared for the third wave. The Delta Plus variant, he admits, has a high transmission rate and is more virulent and how the virus changed its character, colour, remains to be seen. “We have to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and make sure that we are all vaccinated. The breakthrough infection is low and even if infected, the disease is not serious and mortality is low. We now have more than 100 ventilators, more oxygen and paediatric beds, trained manpower, two oxygen plants installed and preparation for two more almost complete. Our lab services have been strengthened and testing must remain a priority, so that we know the rate of infection and the behaviour of the virus. The Department of Virology will be procuring equipment for Covid genome sequencing to detect variants, and how the virus is mutating and evolving and taking adequate measures.”
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