The survey took place in and around three Dhaka slums and two Chittagong slums between October 2020 and February 2021
Covid-19 antibodies were found in 71% people of Dhaka and 55% in Chittagong, according to research conducted by icddr,b.
The study, “Driving Factors of Covid-19 in Slums and Non-Slum Areas of Dhaka and Chittagong,” also found that the rate of Covid-19 seroprevalence positivity, commonly known as the presence of antibody, is higher among people living in slum areas.
The information was released by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) through a dissemination program on Tuesday.
A total of 3,220 people took part in the survey, which was carried out in and around three Dhaka slums and two Chittagong slums between October 2020 and February 2021.
Of the total number of participants, 2,128 were residents of the five slums.
The overall seroprevalence positivity among the participants was 68%, while the rate was 72% among people living in slum regions and 62% among residents of non-slum areas, according to Dr Rubhana Raqib, one of the principal investigators of the study
The overall seropositivity was similar among adults (70%) and children (65.5%).
With the country experiencing more deaths among male patients, the study also found seroprevalence to be higher in females (70.6%) than in males (66%).
However, only 35.5% of the seropositive participants were estimated to have one or more Covid-19 symptoms.
Lower seroprevalence was found in individuals who frequently washed their hands, did not touch their face or nose, had been vaccinated for tuberculosis, and carried out moderate physical activities.
icddr,b Senior Scientist Dr Firdausi Qadri said: “Not everyone has the same level of antibodies. So, the vaccination program needs to continue with whatever vaccines we have.”
She also urged everyone to follow health rules, especially by wearing masks on a regular basis.
Agreeing with Qadri, Prof Dr Mahmudur Rahman, an independent consultant, said the best protection was wearing a mask. A mask does not differentiate among variants while providing protection.