SRINAGAR: A new survey has revealed that more than 61 percent of people in the Pulwama district have antibodies against COVID 19.
Conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), National Sero-survey has revealed that 61.2 percent of the general population and 81.1 percent of healthcare workers in the south Kashmir district are seropositive.
The survey was conducted in 70 districts across India. Pulwama was the only district from Kashmir to be chosen for the survey.
The national average of seroprevalence is around 67.6% in the general population and 85.2 percent in health care providers.
In June 2021, ICMR conducted the fourth round of “National Serosurvey” in 70 districts.
This survey covered the general population aged 6 years and above, and healthcare workers working in district hospitals. The seroprevalence has been found much higher among vaccinated persons.
Around 89.8% fully vaccinated persons are seropositive against 62.3% unvaccinated subjects.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the survey was conducted in Pulwama district through Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, during the third week of June.
“Around 430 blood samples were collected across already designated 10 clusters and 106 samples from health care providers in the district”, said Dr. S. Muhammad Salim Khan, HOD Community Medicine and Nodal Officer for Pulwama study.
In the last three rounds conducted in 2020 by ICMR, the seroprevalence of SARS CoV-2 infection among the general population was found to be 2%, 27.3%, and 31.5% respectively during May-June, August-September, and December.
“This fourth round has important significance due to widespread infection during second COVID-19 wave and the vaccination drive against SARS CoV-2 infection among the adult population during last 5-6 months,” Dr. Salim said.
The study was coordinated by ICMR’s National Institute of Epidemiology and facilitated by National Institute of Research on Tuberculosis, Chennai.
A similar study is underway across all ten districts of Kashmir where samples are taken from children, adults, and pregnant women among the general population, health care providers and police personnel to ascertain seroprevalence among these different strata of the population.
“We are expecting results of pan Kashmir district-wise study in 3-4 weeks which shall guide the policymakers in decision making about COVID management and protocols,” said Dr. Salim.