In a shocking revelation about the spread of COVID-19 infection, a serosurvey has found that more than half of Jammu and Kashmir’s population, or an estimated 86 lakh people, could have been infected by the virus.
The latest serosurvey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found a 63 percent infection rate, according to several media reports, which accounts for nearly 86 lakh people infected by the virus in Jammu and Kashmir, which has a population of 1.36 crore.
The number of infections estimated in the serosurvey is humongous compared to the reported infections in Jammu and Kashmir which at the time of the survey were reported to be three lakhs. The total number of infections recorded till yesterday is 3.21 lakh.
The fourth serosurvey was conducted by the ICMR between 14 June and 16 July and Jammu and Kashmir was among the 21 states and union territories where the survey was conducted to know the extent of the disease.
The survey has found that the infections reported and detected in Jammu and Kashmir were nearly 30 times lower than the actual estimated cases.
The serosurvey is conducted to know the proportion of people in a population who test positive for a specific infectious pathogen. Serosurveys are conducted to get a probable estimate of the prevalence of antibodies in the population of a given geographical setting.
Blood samples in a serosurvey are examined for the presence of IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibodies that help determine a past infection due to the virus.
Kashmir valley has been badly affected by the waves of COVID19 infection, the first of which broke out last year in March and led to a months’ long lockdown. After a respite in infection during the winter months, a second wave in March this year led to another round of lockdown.
This month, Kashmir valley has recorded 3445 new cases while Srinagar, which was the worst affected district during the second wave, registered 1428 new cases this month so far.