NEW DELHI: The overall COVID-19 seropositivity among healthcare workers is assessed to be 25.7 per cent as per the third seroprevalence study, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Sero survey or Seroprevalence studies are based on analysis of antibodies collected through blood sample collection.
Responding to a question on how many healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 virus till date, Choubey said health being a state subject, centralised data on number of healthcare workers who have contracted COVID-19 virus till date is not maintained by the Ministry of Health.
“However, the Indian Council of Medical Research is undertaking periodic sero-surveillance to monitor the trend of COVID-19 infection. As per the third seroprevalence study (December 2020 to January 2021) results the overall COVID-19 seropositivity among healthcare workers is assessed to be 25.7 per cent,” he said in a written reply.
Seroprevalence is highest among doctors and nurses (26.6 per cent), followed by para-medical staff (25.4 per cent), field staff (25.3 per cent) and administrative staff (24.9 per cent), Choubey said in a written reply.
These seroprevalence rates have been found to be a little higher than that in general population which has been estimated as 21.5 per cent, he said.
In response to another question, Choubey said, health being a state subject, the Ministry of Health does not maintain data relating to the number of healthcare workers who lost their lives due to COVID-19, state-wise, job-wise and public-private hospital-wise.
Life insurance benefits are being provided under ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP): Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19’ that offers a comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs.50 lakh to around 22.12 lakh healthcare providers, including community health workers and private health workers drafted by the Government for COVID- 19 related responsibilities, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and who may be at risk of being impacted by this.