The second round of seroprevalence study on COVID-19 infection conducted by GMC Srinagar in district Srinagar shows that 40.6% of the sampled population have developed antibodies, doctors associated with it said on Wednesday.
The survey has been conducted by Government Medical College Srinagar's Departments of Community Medicine and Biochemistry in collaboration with CMO Srinagar, Directorate of Health Services and supported by JK National Health Mission.
Dr S. Muhammad Salim Khan, professor and HOD Community GMC Srinagar who is also principal investigator of the study said the serosurvey was conducted in twenty cluster across Srinagar district including urban and rural areas.
“Incidentally the prevalence was found more among women and in the elderly population. Around 82% persons who had previously tested positive for COVID using showed IgG antibodies within their blood samples while surprisingly 37% who have tested negative also showed presence of antibodies against the infection,” he said.
The survey revealed that some areas showed over one half to two-third of the sampled population to have positive samples for COVID antibodies.
The study shows that those 959 samples were positive for IgG against SARS-CoV-2 giving a seroprevalence of 40.6%.
It added that 0ut of the 2,361 participants, 1,335 were male and 1,026 were female. The seroprevalence was significantly higher among females as compared to males.
“Out of a total of 115 participants who reported having a positive COVID-19 test 95 (82.6%) were seropositive. Among the 432 participants who reported a negative COVID-19 test 159 (36.8%) were seropositive,” the results said.
Khan said the present study showed a many-fold increase in seropositivity among the Srinagar population as compared to the previous study conducted in June that had shown that the seroprevalence of in Srinagar district was just 3.8%.
“It shows that the majority of the population has been exposed to the virus and we shall still continue to follow SOPs religiously to prevent infection among vulnerable populations especially elderly and persons with co-morbidities,” he said.
Dr Sabhiya Majid, professor and HOD of Biochemistry department GMC Srinagar and co-principal investigator of the study the blood samples of both rounds of seroprevalence study were tested on a high-end architect analyser of Abbott Laboratories which was also used by ICMR during their recent country wide sero survey of SARS CoV-2 Infection in India.
Dr Inaamul Haq, assistant professor, Community Medicine GMC Srinagar, Co-Principal investigator the study was approved by Institutional ethical committee of GMC Srinagar and they took informed consent from all participants during the study while each participant was provided participant information sheet in local language.
“All aseptic precautions were taken during sample collection carried out by technical staff provided by chief medical officer Srinagar,” he said.
Dr Mariya Amin Qurieshi Assistant Professor Community Medicine and Co-Principal investigator of the study said they used a customized version of Epicollect5 mobile application for data collection and real time data capture was done for effective analysis.
Importantly, Dr Khan said that based on the study findings they may presume that around 6 lakh population must be expected to be seropositive to the coronavirus infection amongst the 15 lakh population in Srinagar district.
He also said that the survey is undergoing in nine other districts of Kashmir division this time and their results are expected soon.