A new study claims to have found higher incidence of Covid-19 antibodies in healthcare workers employed at non-Covid hospitals than in facilities designated to treat the disease.
The sero-prevalence study has been conducted by Eyebetes Foundation, a charitable foundation working towards reducing diabetes-caused eye ailments, including blindness.
Involving 800 healthcare workers, the study also suggests that ancillary workers such as cleaners, porters, ward boys, laboratory technicians, ward clerks, and administrative and security staff, face a much higher risk of infection than doctors and nurses.
The aim of the study, which was made public Wednesday, was to evaluate the Covid-19 exposure among healthcare workers, who constitute the frontlines of the battle against the pandemic.
Subjects included 200 doctors, 300 nurses and 300 ancillary workers from Mumbai’s largest government hospitals – JJ Hospital, GT Hospital and St George’s Hospital. JJ Hospital, a non-Covid facility, provided 400 samples, while GT and St George’s hospitals, which are dedicated Covid facilities, gave 200 samples each.
According to the study, 11.1 per cent of the healthcare workers studied tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies. This included asymptomatic people as well as those who had been tested and treated. This number, the researchers noted, was much lower than in countries like the UK, where they said a study had found Covid antibody presence in 45 per cent of healthcare workers tested.