Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a sero-survey has been launched to detect the persons who developed antibody and it will also help in mapping the spread of the disease in the State. Such studies have already been carried out in states like Maharashtra, Delhi and Punjab with success and the first such study in Assam has been launched today.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Indian Revenue Service officer from Assam, Padmapani Bora, who is playing the role of facilitator to the project launched by non-Government organization SRIJANASOM, said that the project would be carried out by strictly following the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research, while, the National Health Mission, Assam, approved it. The Ethics Committee of the Assam Down Town University gave the ethical clearance.
Bora, who is now working in the Ministry of Textiles as Deputy Secretary, said that nine districts would be covered under the project. The districts will be categorized into three categories – high, medium and low risk and three districts each would be covered under each category. He said that the Deputy Commissioners of the selected districts are playing the key role in helping out the non-Government organization. The organization is planning to complete the study within one and half months.
Bora pointed out that the ICMR has also been encouraging such studies as it would help the Government to properly map the spread of the disease, while, the people who have developed herd immunity can also be located and such people can be encouraged for plasma donation if required in future.
The studies carried out in different states have so far shown interesting results. More than 27 per cent population in the areas covered in Punjab developed antibodies, while, in Delhi the figure is around 29 per cent. The figure is even higher in Maharashtra and it is over 50 per cent. Similar surveys are also being carried out in Uttar Pradesh.
In Assam, the project will be carried out with the help of Medicity Guwahati Clinics and Laboratories. A serological test is performed to diagnose infections and antoimmune illnesses. It can also be conducted to check if a person has developed immunity to certain disease.
Covid-19 pandemic has hit the country hard, like many other countries in the world. Ever since the first case was detected in Assam on March 31, 2020, the number of cases are increasing. Despite the infrastructural bottleneck and concomitant floods in the State, Assam has been doing exceptionally well in containing the infection.
The need of the hour today is a seroprevalence study that would identify the proportion of people carrying the antibodies against this virus.
Mridusmita Das,Managing Trustee cum CEO of SRIJANASOM asserted that this study would help in knowing the distribution of coronavirus infection, which might have been missed by the currently applied testing strategy and method, the extent of immunity of the population of Assam to this infection, and hence the transmission and also to stage the ongoing epidemic in the context of Assam. Also, this opportunity might be utilized for raising awareness about plasma donation by the recovered people.