GMC’s COVID 19 anti-bodies study features in PLOS ONE scientific journal

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Virus touched almost 40% of people in Srinagar city

SRINAGAR: A cross-sectional study on the Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies in district Srinagar has been published in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal in the US.

According to the study, more than 40 percent of people in Srinagar have developed antibodies which suggest that these people might have been infected with COVID 19 at some point in time.

Entitled `Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies in District Srinagar, northern India – A cross-sectional study’, the survey was conducted by a team of doctors at the Social and Preventive Medicine Department, Government Medical College, Srinagar, last month.

“In fact, we conducted two surveys in three months’ time. In the first survey the prevalence of anti-bodies was 3.8 percent. Last month we conducted another survey and prevalence was 40.3 percent which means more than 10 times increase,” Dr. Muhammad Salim Khan, head department of Social and Preventive Medicine, GMC, Srinagar, told The Kashmir Monitor.

Dr. Salim said if the data is extrapolated to the general population than nearly 40 percent of people in Srinagar have been infected at one point in time. “No city has so much ratio in the country. There may be pockets but not the entire city,” he said.

Twenty clusters were selected for the survey in the city. “We conducted house to house survey in 20 clusters in Srinagar. Around 120 samples were collected from each cluster. After the analysis, 2361 samples were taken into consideration,” said Dr. Salim.

He said some areas surveyed had had 60 to 70 percent positivity rate.

“A large proportion of the population is still susceptible to the infection. A sizeable number of infections remain undetected, and a substantial proportion of people with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 are not tested,” the study said.

The Social and Preventive Medicine Department has now expanded the study to all districts. The sample size of each district has been restricted to 400 now. The results of the entire valley are expected to be released in a week’s time.

Official figures reveal that Jammu and Kashmir has 100351 COVID positive cases. Of the total cases, 5480  are Active Positive, and 93313 have recovered. Around 1558 people have died –524 in Jammu and 1034 in Kashmir division.

Of the 2551946 samples tests, 2451595 have come back negative till November 11. To date, 701640 persons have been enlisted for observation which included 16989 persons under home quarantine including facilities operated by the government, 5480 in isolation, and 41849 under home surveillance. Besides, 635764 persons have completed their surveillance period.

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