THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though there are no significant signs of community transmission of Covid-19 in the state, the health department has decided to look for its traces. For that it is considering two studies- one based on the blood samples collected at health care centres for various purposes and the other based on the samples collected from healthcare workers and primary and secondary contacts who came in touch with those who were positive. The proposed studies gain significance as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has hinted at community transmission of Coronavirus in the country.
“The proposal for the studies is now under the consideration of health principal secretary Rajan N Khobragade. Studies of this kind are needed especially when ICMR stresses on intensifying sentinel surveillance. The outcome of such studies will come in handy in the containment and mitigation efforts,” said an health department officer. According to the officer, it is estimated that for carrying out both studies 7,500 antibody kits are needed.
“The first study- based on blood samples collected at healthcare centres for various purposes- has been proposed by the public health wing of the Directorate of Health Services. A study of this kind was conducted earlier during the AIDS epidemic. The second study has been proposed by Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies and the National Institute of Epidemiology. It will be conducted with the help of State Prevention of Epidemics and Infectious Disease Cell,” added the officer.
Five research studies receive ICMR nod
Five Covid-19-based research studies proposed by the state have received nod from ICMR. The five topics include an epidemiology study, surveillance of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) patients’ surveillance, interferon study, convalescent plasma therapy and a research study in collaboration with Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) at Palode.