Health ministry, ICMR, AIIMS to set up a national clinical registry to study COVID-19 epidemic
New Delhi - As doctors, scientists and researchers across the world grapple with understanding the effects of COVID-19, India, too, is set to study the viral disease closely.
The Union health ministry, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have decided to set-up a national clinical registry to collect data on clinical and laboratory features, treatments, and outcomes of hospitalized patients in the country.
The registry would collate data from 100 hospitals over the next one year, and designated scientists from the ICMR would analyse the data. For instance, whether the disease progression is different in Indian patients when compared to those in other countries, if it is it less or more severe in Indians, and what the treatment options are that need to be prescribed based on the clinical features of the disease in these patients.
The data set will also be used to analyse yet another emerging area of concern—the link between COVID-19 and multi-system inflammatory disorder in children and adolescents.
According to the WHO, the preliminary case definition for the rare disorder in kids and adolescents upto 19 years includes symptoms of fever, rashes, acute gastrointestinal problems, coronary abnormalities, and COVID-19 positive or contact with a positive person.
Besides these objectives, the registry will also utilize data to answer research questions on COVID-19 including the natural course of the disease, disease spectrum, risk factors and the health system capacities. The idea is also to study the relation between COVID-19 and TB and malnutrition. Through the registry, the Centre also aims to follow up discharged COVID-19 patients to look for any significant effects of it.
The expected output of developing and maintaining an NCRC is "to generate weekly reports— epidemiological and clinical reports from the registry data will be published on the ICMR/MOHFW website," the ICMR said in a statement.
Other outcomes include formulating patient management protocols, developing policy guidelines, publishing in peer reviewed journals and make evidence-based clinical decisions.
Dedicated COVID -19 hospitals and COVID-19 health centers will serve as primary sites for data collection, and will receive training from 15 centres such as AIIMS, Delhi; PGI, Chandigarh and AFMC, Pune.