ICMR Survey Reveal Healthcare Workers In Bihar's Buxar Have 94.1 Per Cent Seropositivity
ICMR shared study data of the fourth serological survey conducted throughout Bihar's six districts, revealing that the healthcare personnel in Buxar district have the greatest prevalence of antibodies against Covid-19 at 94.1 per cent.
The fourth serological survey conducted throughout Bihar's six districts in June this year showed that healthcare personnel in the Buxar district have the greatest seropositivity or prevalence of antibodies against Covid-19 at 94.1 per cent, compared to 83.8 per cent in the general population.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shared a study data with Bihar on 23 July, according to which in Begusarai, Arwal, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur and Purnia, healthcare personnel reported seropositivity rates of 90 to 93 per cent, compared to 77.1 to 65.3 per cent in the general population. In the six districts, their cumulative seropositivity was 91.45 per cent, compared to 72.93 per cent in the general population. When compared to the previous serological survey, the difference in seropositivity was substantially higher this time.
As reported, according to an official, during the third serological survey in December, the difference between the two groups was barely 2 to 4 per cent. He said: "Healthcare workers had marginally higher seropositivity as compared to Bihar's cumulative seropositivity of 22.41 per cent among the general population in the state's six sample districts".
As per Prabhat Kumar Singh, who is the director of Patna's All India Institute of Medical Sciences, since healthcare workers were vaccinated first in the country, the disparity in seropositivity is bigger this time. He also added that during the second wave of the pandemic, they were exposed to more Covid-19 patients, and as a result, many of our healthcare professionals became infected, resulting in the formation of natural antibodies.
Singh also stated that for healthcare personnel, seropositivity of 91.45 per cent is "very good", while their immunisation coverage has been excellent as well. As a result, the vast majority of healthcare professionals are protected, either through vaccination or infection, he explained. Singh noted that "given the sample size and area covered, seropositivity of 73 per cent among general population indicates that Bihar is moving closer towards developing herd immunity".
However, according to a recent nationwide serosurvey conducted by ICMR, up to two-thirds of the Indian population over the age of six has previously been infected with the novel coronavirus, meaning they have antibodies against the SARS-CoC-2-caused disease. A total of 28,975 people were tested for the presence of antibodies specific to the novel virus, including 7,252 healthcare workers from 70 districts and 21 states across the country, with 67.6 per cent showing positive results. For the first time, minors aged 6 to 17 were included in the serosurvey and antibodies were discovered in nearly half of them.
The ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava said on 20 July: "The findings clearly show that there is a ray of hope but there is no room for complacency. We have to maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour and community engagement".
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