Assam launches first sero survey, Srijanasom takes lead

Guwahati: In its effort to map and understand the spreading of the novel coronavirus in Assam, the SRIJANASOM, a non-governmental organization, working for the promotion of Indian Art & Culture, Education and for an accessible& affordable Health Care for all, has launched the first-ever serological survey in the state starting from today.

The SRIJANASOM, in association with Medicity Guwahati Group of Clinic & Diagnostics, titled "A.A.S.H.A – Assessment of Anti-SARSCoV2 Seroprevalence in Habitants of Assam: a population-based cross-sectional study" here Medicity Guwahati Aditya in presence of MoS Health and Family Welfare Sri Pijush Hazarika; MD, National Health Mission, Assam Sri Dr. S. Laxmanan and IRS officer from Assam Padmapani Bora who has been instrumental in carrying out this study.

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 diseases.

Speaking on this occasion, Minister Pijush Hazarika thanked IRS Padmapani Bora and SRIJANASOM for taking the efforts and making this study possible in Assam much ahead to several other states.

Speaking on the launching of the survey study, Mridusmita Das, Managing Trustee/ CEO SRIJANASOM asserted that this study will 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.

The survey study is being carried out in association with Medicity Group of Clinics & Diagnostics, Guwahati which will provide assistance in sample collection and laboratory testing. Study analysis will be carried out under the supervision of Dr.Jyotismita Pathak, MD, Community Medicine & Assist. Professor, Army Medical College, New Delhi. Dr. Khalil Siddique expresses his gratitude to SRIAJANASOM for giving this opportunity to collaborate in this noble cause. He further said that the study will help in understanding the level of coronavirus exposure in a specified population in a scientific approach.

IRS officer Padmapani Bora who is instrumental in carrying out this study expresses his satisfaction for being able to contribute in the fight against Covid-19 by way helping in carrying out this first-ever sero-survey in Assam to estimate COVID antibodies. He further said that study will help in estimating the immunity level developed by the various groups of populations in the state against coronavirus and taking further specific containment measures.

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 31st March 2020, the number of cases is on a rise. 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.

The ICMR has advised States to conduct sero-survey to measure Coronavirus exposure in the population using IgG Elisa Test (Antibody test) vide Press Release dated 30th May 2020. A serological survey seeks to assess the prevalence of the disease in a population by detecting the presence of specific antibodies against the virus. A serological test is performed to diagnose infections and autoimmune illnesses. It can also be conducted to check if a person has developed immunity to certain diseases. Population-based serosurveys measuring anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (anti-SARS-CoV-2) antibodies provide one method for estimating infection rates and monitoring the progression of the epidemic. IgG Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test which estimates the proportion of the population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 (Corona Virus) infection.

The first time in Assam such Serological Survey Study is being conducted as per guidelines of ICMR and the institutional Ethics Committee of Assam DownTown University has granted Ethical Clearance to the proposed study. National Health Mission, Assam has also issued concurrence to the proposed study and has issued to copy the concurrence to all District Commissioners across Assam to support SRIJANASOM to support in the proposed study. States like Delhi, Maharashtra have already conducted such studies.

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