The sero-prevalence study conducted across Kashmir for assessing IgG antibodies among general population and various subgroups have shown that 78 percent of children under 18 years of age sampled during the survey in July this year have developed antibodies against COVID virus.
Moreover, the study shows that around 64 percent pregnant women sampled during the same survey across 10 districts of Kashmir also exhibited IgG antibodies against SARS CoV-2 Infection during the month of July when less than 1 percent among the sampled pregnant group were vaccinated against COVID infection during that time.
As per a statement, issued to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), even though schools are closed since long and the under eighteen years age group population is still unvaccinated, the high prevalence of IgG antibodies among them shows that there has been widespread infection within the families as is evident from the data from the study where the prevalence among 18-45 years and above 45 years has been approximately 84 and 89.5 percent respectively.
“During this period, the genomic sequencing has shown that Delta variant was the dominating strain of SARS CoV-2 virus circulating in Kashmir and the hospital admissions and deaths have been very much insignificant. Except for visiting schools, there hasn’t been major restrictions for movement of general population including children. With such high sero positivity among children, the stakeholders need to converge and decide about opening of schools or otherwise,” it reads.
The statement quoting Dr S Muhammad Salim Khan Professor and HOD Community Medicine Government College Srinagar and principal investigator of the study, reads that regarding sero positivity among pregnant women, the vaccination need to be scaled up as we have seen over 90 percent sero positivity among health care providers and police personnel whose vaccination status is also over 90 per cent.
“It is in place to mention that this study was conducted by GMC Srinagar in collaboration with Community Medicine departments of SKIMS, SKIMS Medical College Srinagar, Government Medical College Anantnag and Government Medical College Baramullah with full support from directorate of health services Kashmir and J&K National Health Mission,” it reads.
The statement reads that the samples were tested on Abbott Architect i1000 & i2000 auto-analysers using chemiluminescent immunoassay technique at biosafety level-2 lab of department of Biochemistry GMC Srinagar while it’s department of community medicine coordinated the pan Kashmir district-wise study—(KNO)