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Kashmir serosurvey: Docs press panic button after fresh data shows diminishing antibodies among people in Pulwama district

SRINAGAR: Doctors have pressed the alarm button after third round of national serosurvey for COVID-19 showed diminishing antibodies among the masses in the Pulwama district.

Seroprevalence in the Pulwama district was recorded at 31.5% in the third round. This third round was conducted in December 2020 to see the changing trend of population response to SARS COV-2 infection.

 

In the second round held in July-August this year,  the prevalence of IgG antibody titers among the general population in the Pulwama district was 27.3% .

Later, a district-wise survey was conducted in all districts of Kashmir in October 2020 by Government Medical College Srinagar where the overall prevalence of SARS CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies among general population was 38 8% with Pulwama having the highest prevalence at 43.1%.

“The decreasing trend is a bit worrisome as it’s believed that antibodies don’t last long and the susceptibility to contracting COVID infection increases after some months of exposure,” said Dr. Muhammad Salim Khan, head department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar.

Doctors, however, hoped that the COVID vaccination programme may help in building up the immunity in the population termed as herd immunity.

 “This study also signifies the importance of getting COVID Vaccination by all eligible and entitled groups in the community, he said. Further people should continue to follow SOPs religiously which includes a facemask, social distancing, and regular hand hygiene as the emergence of various mutant variants of the COVID virus across various countries could nullify all efforts taken so far,” he said.

Earlier, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the nation’s top medical research organization conducted the third round of national serosurvey for COVID-19 across 60 districts and 10 hot-spot sites among all states and union territories of the country in December 2020. The survey showed the seroprevalence of 31.5% in district Pulwama.

In the third round of ICMR’s national serosurvey, the data was collected through app-based and blood samples taken to assess (Immunoglobulin-Gamma) IgG antibodies against SARS CoV-2 Infection. Each site collected data and blood samples of 400 participants of children over 10 years and adult population.

The study also included 100 health care workers from SDH, Tral. The seroprevalence among health care providers was found to be 32% while a recent seroprevalence study conducted by GMC Srinagar across all districts hospitals and GMC Srinagar Associated Hospitals showed seropositivity of 27.3%.