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Opinion

88% of deaths from Covid, 40% of cases in the age group over 45: government data

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New Delhi: Nearly nine out of 10 people (88%) who lost their lives due to Covid-19 in India as of December 16 were over 45 years old, with only four out of 10 (40%) reporting that infections fell in that group. old. according to the data on cases and mortality not yet published from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare accessed by HT.

People under the age of 45 accounted for 60% of all Covid-19 infections in the country, but made up only 12% of total deaths, the data showed. The findings from India reflect global trends showing that the disease is disproportionately fatal to older people, even though it infects people in younger age groups much more.

The data also showed that men are much more likely to become infected and die from the disease, accounting for 63% of all cases and 70% of all deaths.

The numbers suggest that more than half (52%) of the infected people in India so far were between the ages of 18 and 44, while the majority (55%) of those who died from the viral disease were 60 or older. . People between the ages of 45 and 60 make up 33% of all deaths, while around 10% of deaths occurred among people between the ages of 26 and 44. People between 18 and 25 years old and those under 17 years old represent only 1% of deaths each.

Also in line with the global pattern, at least 70% of the deaths occurred in patients with at least one other underlying medical condition, such as hypertension, diabetes, or heart, liver, or kidney disease.

“The visible pattern in India is not really different from the data that comes from other countries; and says that the infection is relatively less common among children and affects mainly the adult population. Older people and those with comorbidities are at increased risk of developing a severe form of the disease. The trend has remained largely the same over the months with a slight variation in the numbers, ”said a Health Ministry official familiar with the findings who did not want to be identified.

India’s cumulative fatality rate (CFR), which is the number of dead patients among those who tested positive, currently stands at 1.45%, which is much lower than the global CFR of 2, 26%.

Immunology experts say that due to the high transmissibility of the Sars-Cov-2 virus that causes Covid-19, infections could increase in the future but with less severity.

“Since it is a highly contagious virus, everyone is at risk of being exposed. However, we are seeing less severity of the infection, so our death rate is also very low, and that could be attributed to the fact that our immunity levels are modulated to better fight any infection compared to, say, Europeans or Americans. The young population becoming infected could also be linked to the movement, as we have managed to largely quarantine our vulnerable population, ”said Dr. NK Mehra, an expert in immunology and immunogenetics, who was previously associated with the Institute. of Medical Sciences of India from New Delhi.

Doctors also attribute the low death rate to the standardized treatment protocol that hospitals had begun to follow in hospitals across the country according to guidelines from the Union’s health ministry.

The technical wing of the Union Ministry of Health prepared 30 training modules on various topics, such as clinical management, ventilation support, infection prevention and control, and quarantine management, to train its health care workers From first line.

“We know a lot more about the disease now than we did at the beginning of the outbreak, and government guidelines have also been updated from time to time based on the latest evidence from around the world that also helped us know what worked best. These protocols are being followed across the board and have saved more lives, ”said Dr. Vikas Maurya, director of the department of pulmonology and sleep disorders at Fortis Healthcare.

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