Respite for 60-plus in COVID second wave as less fatalities recorded among senior citizens

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PATNA/BHOPAL/KOLKATA/RANCHI: Fewer senior citizens died of Covid-19 in the second wave in some states as compared to the first one last year. Also, there was a steep rise in the fatality rate among the youth and middle-aged people during the second wave, according to data accessed and analysed by this newspaper.

The sharpest fall in the fatality rate among persons aged more than 60 was witnessed in Bihar, figures available till the end of May has revealed. The death in this category was about 45% last year, this fell to just 2% in the second wave. 

Madhya Pradesh has also seen a dip, it was down to 13% this time from 20% during the first wave. West Bengal recorded a marginal fall, from 43% to 41%, while in Uttarakhand it came down from 26.2% to 24.2%.

About 27% of the population is in the 25-44 age bracket. A comparative study of the data from several states shows that cases of infection and deaths have been higher in this age bracket.Bihar provides a fair reflection of this situation.

Deaths in the 26-35 and 36-50 age groups rose from 10% to 20% and 35% to 45%, respectively, in the second wave. In Madhya Pradesh in the 18-44 years population, positive cases climbed to 58% from 49%. West Bengal’s death toll in this group reached 10% after 6% in the first wave.

In Chhattisgarh, deaths in the 14-30 section shot up to 243 from 38. The hills of Uttarakhand witnessed the death tally in the 30-39 group touch 9% from 5.3%. Jharkhand recorded 12.4% deaths in persons aged between 30 and 44. This was 9.14% last year.

The trend is different in Maharashtra. The number of positive cases has remained more or less the same in the state that suffered most in both waves of the pandemic. In the first wave last year, 38.53% of cases in Maharashtra were from the 21-40 group. This figure is around 40% in the second.

“The mortality rate in the second wave among people in the age group 25-50 has been higher than the first. This could be because fewer people got vaccinated and also because they did not adhere to safety protocols. Among people above 60, mortality rate remained restricted because of the higher ratio of vaccination and enhanced awareness levels after the first wave,” said Rajiv Ranjan, a senior member of Indian Medical Association and physician-cum-researcher in Patna.

But a doctor in Kolkata said it was too early to analyse the reasons. “We are yet to identify the exact reason. A majority of the people in this age bracket are yet to be vaccinated. But it’s a fact that many of these patients, who had no comorbidity, died of Covid,” said Sumana Ganguly, who is attached to a private hospital in Kolkata.

(Inputs from Rajesh Kumar Thakur, Anuraag Singh, Pronab Mondal, and Mukesh Ranjan)



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