NEW DELHI: Those above 60 years of age make up just 19% of coronavirus patients in India but account for 63% of the fatalities so far, with those having pre-existing health conditions being even more vulnerable, according to data released by the health ministry on Monday.
Of the rest, 30% of those who died were 40-60 years old and only 7% were younger than 40. As many as 86% of the fatalities had conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney disease.
An analysis of Covid-19 cases and fatalities till now also shows that men may be more susceptible to the infection than women. Of the total infected so far, 76% were males and 24% females, whereas men also accounted for more deaths at 73%, while 27% deaths were among females. The infection ratio is 3:1.
On Monday, a total of 4,067 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 109 deaths related to the disease were reported by the health ministry. This included 693 new cases and 30 deaths in the last 24 hours.
On Saturday, the ministry had released an age-wise analysis of all positive Covid-19 cases, which showed that 8.6% of patients were 20 and below, 41.9% were between 21 and 40s, 32.8% in the 41-60 bracket, and 16.7% above 60.
The age-wise mortality data released by the government supports concerns that the elderly, and more generally other patients with co-morbidities, are more at risk if they catch the infection. The fatality rate among the elderly is disproportionately higher despite a low rate of infection in the age group.
“This shows that elderly people are at a higher risk but younger people with co-morbidities are also at risk. We request that elders remain protected and every youth be careful so as to not pass on the infection, particularly to elders. For this, strict implementation of social distancing measures and lockdown is essential,” health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said.
While the age-wise data on total confirmed cases had indicated that the trend in India was perhaps different from most other countries since a majority of those getting the infection in the country were less than 60 years old, the analysis of fatalities appears to be in line with global trends.
Doctors said the elderly with co-morbidities are usually vulnerable to all influenzas because of low immunity and they need to be more careful against catching the coronavirus.
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