The results of the first serological surveillance project in the city are likely to be declared next week, said Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao on Tuesday. After Delhi and Mumbai, this is the first study in the city to understand the percentage of the population affected by Covid-19.
This is a joint venture of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune University’s School of Health Sciences, PMC and Persistent Systems. According to Dr Aurnab Ghose, associate professor, IISER, Pune, and one of the principal investigators, this is a cross-sectional study across five high prevalent wards that will provide an estimate as to how much the disease has spread.
Prof Aarti Nagarkar, director of the interdisciplinary school of health sciences, said the blood collection process was complete and they were collecting data and analysing it. Results should be available by the middle of next week, the researchers said.
More than 1,500 participants aged above 18 were included across randomly selected locations in five wards where the infection was in high prevalence. They were from apartments, slums, chawls, bungalows, and wadas. Doctors also took their medical history apart from collecting 5 ml of blood samples for antibody tests.
Dr Sanjeev Galande, dean of research and development, IISER, said data from this study was important as it will address questions like the extent of prevalence and help understand whether cases were rising or were still not close to the peak. Data should also help to estimate whether certain pockets of the city had reached herd immunity, Dr Galande added.
Meanwhile, B J Medical College will be leading a second sero survey – mainly for frontline healthcare workers, including nurses and police, while D Y Patil Medical College is also planning similar studies at Pimpri-Chinchwad area, Rao said. Pune is also part of a national serosurveillance study underway.
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