Findings would guide strategy for making decisions related to lockdown at district level: ICMR
Government Medical College Srinagar has started a national survey for COVID-19 titled ‘National sero-surveillance’ on behalf of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), to monitor the trend of the infection in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The survey has been started by the ICMR to monitor the trend of SARS-CoV-2 infection transmission in India and in Kashmir it has been started in Pulwama.
Head Department of Community Medicine, GMC Srinagar, Dr S Muhammad Salim Khan, who is also the nodal person for the ICMR national ser-survey for COVID-19 of the district, said the blood samples will be sent to ICMR lab at Chennai.
“The baseline survey would determine the sero-prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the community and in high-burden cities as well, while the subsequent rounds would help to monitor the trends of infection in the community,” he said.
As per ICMR protocols, the trend of seropositivity will also be looked at to monitor the community-level transmission.
“Pooled seroprevalence from the group of districts for each of the four strata will be used to estimate the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in the country," according to the protocols.
The community-based surveillance would be conducted across 60 districts and 10 hot-spots among all states and union territories in India.
In the survey, the government would collect app-based data, blood samples to assess immunoglobulin-Gamma (Ig-G) against SARS-CoV-2 which will determine infection in recent past and the body’s immune response to the SARS CoV-2 infection.
Each selected site collects data and blood samples of 400 participants of adult population which cumulates to 24,000 samples which would be tested to give the inference of cumulative response to the infection among general population.
ICMR is conducting the study through its regional centres, however the Director General ICMR & Secretary, Department of Health Research, MOHFW, Government of India asked GMC Srinagar to conduct the study in Pulwama district on its behalf for which it has communicated to Financial Commissioner, health & medical education department, J&K and Principal, GMC Srinagar.
A team of faculty, resident doctors and medical interns from Department of Community Medicine (SPM), GMC Srinagar have been deputed by GMC Srinagar to conduct the survey in ICMR assigned ten clusters in Pulwama.
The findings of the survey will also guide the strategy for making decisions related to lockdown options at district level, as per the protocols of ICMR.