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27% Mumbai health workers have Covid-19 antibodies: Survey

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Mumbai, Oct 02: The second sero-survey of SARS-CoV2 in Mumbai has found that only 27 per cent health workers have developed antibodies despite being in constant contact with COVID-19 patients, the city civic body said on Friday.

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According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in the first and as well as in the second round of sero-survey, approximately 27 per cent health workers, who are more exposed to the virus than ordinary citizens, were found to have developed antibodies against the infection.

Presence of anti-bodies in the blood indicates that the person has been exposed to an infection - in this case coronavirus. The BMC had conducted the second round of sero-survey along with other organisations in the second half of August, while the first one was done in June.

Civic officials said the sero-survey has important lessons for citizens, who are not following COVID-19 safety protocols of wearing face masks, maintaining social distance and hand hygiene.

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"TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) has pointed out that health care workers have developed less antibodies though they are more exposed to the coronavirus.

"It is because they took adequate precautions like wearing masks and PPE kits, maintaining social distance and sanitising themselves properly," Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner of BMC, told PTI.

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    Kakani appealed to citizens to earnestly follow COVID-19 safety protocols to curb spread of the virus in the city and keep themselves protected from the infection. The survey had been commissioned by the BMC, NITI- Aayog and TIFR.

    Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), A.T.E. Chandra Foundation and IDFC Institute had also partnered in the survey.

    Mumbai is one of the worst-affected COVID-19 hotspots in the country with over two lakh cases and nearly 9,000 deaths so far.

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