GMC Srinagar conducts ICMR National Sero-Survey for COVID-19 in Pulwama

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SRINAGAR — The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the nation’s premium medical research organization is conducting national sero-survey for COVID-19 titled ‘National sero-surveillance to monitor the trend of SARS-CoV-2 infection transmission in India: Community-based surveillance’ across 60 districts and 10 hotspot sites among all States and Union territories of the country wherein it is collecting app-based data and 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 shall be tested to give the inference of cumulative response to the SARS CoV-2 infection among general population in the country.

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ICMR is conducting the study through its regional centres, however the Director General ICMR & Secretary, Department of Health Research, MOHFW, Government of India Dr. Balram Bhargava asked Government Medical College, Srinagar to conduct the study in Pulwama district on its behalf for which it has communicated to Atal Dulloo, financial commissioner, Health & Medical Education Department, J&K and Dr. Samia Rashid, principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar.

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A team of faculty, resident doctors and medical interns from Department of Community Medicine (SPM), Government Medical College, Srinagar have been deputed by Dr. Samia Rashid, principal/dean, GMC Srinagar for conducting the survey in ICMR assigned ten clusters in district Pulwama with full support and cooperation from Deputy Commissioner Pulwama Dr. Raghav Langer, Chief Medical Officer, Pulwama Dr. Hassina Mir and health teams including doctors, laboratory technicians and other paramedical staff at district level and Dr. Syed Tasnim, NTEP Consultant.

While ICMR Headquarter New Delhi, and its premier centres including National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE), Chennai, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT), Chennai and National JALMA Institute, Agra are providing support in training, guidance, ELISA testing, data management, analytics and logistics support, said Dr. S. Muhammad Salim Khan, HOD Community Medicine, GMC Srinagar and nodal person for ICMR national sero-survey for COVID-19 of district Pulwama.

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The blood samples will be sent to ICMR lab at Chennai.

As per ICMR, “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 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. The findings of the survey will also guide the strategy for making decisions related to lockdown options at district level, the protocol document said.

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