Guwahati: Assam launches first serosurvey in state


GUWAHATI: In its effort to map and understand the spreading of COVID-19 in Assam, the SRIJANASOM, a non-governmental organisation, working for the promotion of Indian Art and Culture, Education and for an accessible and affordable Health Care for all, has launched the first-ever serological survey in the state, starting on Sunday.

The SRIJANASOM, in association with Medicity Guwahati Group of Clinic and 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 Assam Junior Health Minister Pijush Hazarika; DC, Kamrup (Metro); MD, National Health Mission, Assam; 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 autoimmune illnesses. It can also be conducted to check if a person has developed immunity to a certain disease.

Speaking on the 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.

“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,” said Mridusmita Das, Managing Trustee/ CEO SRIJANASOM at the launch of the survey.
Also, this drive might also be utilised for raising awareness about plasma donation by the recovered people.

The survey study is being carried out in association with Medicity Group of Clinics and 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 and Assistant Professor, Army Medical College, New Delhi.

Dr Khalil Siddique expressed his gratitude to SRIAJANASOM for giving this opportunity to collaborate in this noble cause. He further said that the study will understand 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 serosurvey in Assam to estimate COVID antibodies.

He further said that study will help in estimating immunity level developed by the various group of population 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 serosurvey to measure Coronavirus exposure in the population using IgG Elisa Test (Antibody test) vide Press Release dated May 30, 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.

First time in Assam such Serological Survey Study is being conducted as per guidelines of ICMR and 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. (ANI)