Updated: October 29, 2020 8:54:45 am
A study conducted by Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar has found that over 40 per cent of the population of Srinagar district has developed antibodies for Covid-19 — a quantum jump from a June study, in which only 3.8 per cent of the population had developed antibodies for the virus.
The study showed that half to two-thirds of the sampled population in some areas of the district had antibodies for the virus. “The present study showed a manifold increase in sero positivity among the Srinagar population as compared to our previous study conducted in June this year, where sero prevalence of SARS CoV-2 Infection in Srinagar district was just 3.8%. It shows that the majority of the population has been exposed to SARS COV-2 virus and we shall still continue to follow SOPs religiously to prevent infection among vulnerable populations especially elderly and persons with co-morbidities,” said principal investigator of the study Dr Muhammad Salim Khan, who heads the Department of Community Medicine at GMC.
As part of the October survey, which was conducted in collaboration with the Directorate of Health Services and the National Health Mission, over 2,300 people across the different age groups were tested from 20 clusters of Srinagar district, covering both the urban and rural areas, with 40.6 per cent of the samples showing sero-prevalence for SARS CoV-2.
The study was initiated after a go-ahead from the institutional ethical committee. “Blood samples of both rounds of sero prevalence study in Srinagar district were tested on high-end Architect analyser of Abbott Laboratories, which was also used by ICMR during their recent countrywide sero survey of SARS CoV-2,” said Dr Sabhiya Majid, who heads the biochemistry department at GMC and is the co-principal investigator of the study.
“If we extrapolate the results of the study on the general population of Srinagar district, we may presume that around 6 lakh people must be expected to be sero-positive to SARS COV-2 amongst the 15 lakh population in the district,” Khan said. “The sero survey is undergoing in nine other districts of Kashmir division and their results are expected soon.”
The study also revealed that the prevalence of antibodies was more among women — 44.7 per cent — as against 37.5 per cent in men.
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