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Hyderabad: Health workers 33 times at high risk of Covid infection

Hyderabad: Health workers 33 times at high risk of Covid infectionHealth workers 33 times at high risk of Covid infection
Highlights

Healthcare personnel in India are 33 times more vulnerable to Covid-19 than general population in India, according to a study done by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).

Hyderabad: Healthcare personnel in India are 33 times more vulnerable to Covid-19 than general population in India, according to a study done by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).

This study, which was published few days ago, assumes significance as nearly five doctors including junior doctors have tested Covid-19 positive in Telangana in the last few days. There were instances of nurses and other medical staff from various government and private hospitals also testing positive in the State

ICMR formulated and established laboratory surveillance for Covid-19. In this study, an analysis of the surveillance data was done to describe the testing performance and descriptive epidemiology of corona cases by time, place and person done in ICMR identified laboratories in all States that were assisted by NIV, Pune initially.

Between January 22 and April 30, a total of 10 samples were sample tested for coronavirus in all states. The first Covid-19 infection was detected in Kerala on January 30. The sample testing increased from about 250 individuals per day in the beginning of March to 50,000 specimens per day by the end of April. Overall 40,184 tests reported positive in the country as on April 30.

The proportion of positive cases was highest among symptomatic and asymptomatic contacts, 2-3 folds higher than among those with severe acute respiratory infection or those with an international travel history or healthcare workers.

Around 20,429 symptomatic healthcare personnel including doctors, nurses and other medical staff who were on Covid-19 duties in various States were sample tested and out of them 947 tested positive. Also, 46, 852 sample tests were done on asymptomatic healthcare personnel who were in contact with confirmed cases without adequate protection and in this 1,135 were found to be infected.

Among the overall Covid count of India which was over 40,000 as on April 30, the healthcare workers themselves constituted over 2,000 which means they contributed 5 per cent of the total infected cases at that time.

At that time, 30,000 healthcare workers were found to be infected in the world out of which 2,000 were from India only. The Telangana Health department recently announced that 30 frontline government staff members including health, police, municipal and sanitation staff tested positive so far.

Kiran Madhala, HoD, Anesthesia, Government Medical College, Nizamabad observed that healthcare workers are 33 times more vulnerable to Covid compared to general public if the ICMR findings are any indication.

" Out of the 20 lakh health workforce in the country, 2,000 tested positive as per ICMR study which is 0.1 per cent. If we take the country's population of 130 crore the infected count stood just over 40,000 which means 0.003 per cent positive rate. This means healthcare workers are 33 times more vulnerable to the deadly virus than common public," Dr Kiran pointed out.

Healthcare personnel and Covid-19 infections in India until April 30

Total positive cases in India on April 30: 40,184

Symptomatic healthcare workers

Tested : 20,249

Positive: 947

Asymptomatic healthcare workers

Tested: 48,852

Positive: 1,135

Total healthcare workers found infected: 2082

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