The rising Covid deaths, including among youngsters, in the second wave should be a cause of worry for Tamil Nadu. The number of deaths have doubled in the last ten days, according to experts.

Though the number is nowhere close to the peak of 127 deaths reported on August 15, 2020, in the first wave, there is an urgent need to arrest this at the earliest, feel health experts.

Also, youngsters without any co-morbidities are falling prey to the virus. Every day, there are at least three or four persons below the age of 40 dying due to the virus. A 28-year-old female from Kanyakumari died at Kanyakumari Medical College Hospital due to Covid pneumonia/respiratory failure. It was a similar fate for a 36-year-old and 43-year-old males, both from Chengalpattu, according to the State Health department.

As on Monday, the number of Covid deaths in Tamil Nadu was 13,157 - third highest after Maharashtra and Karnataka - with Chennai topping the list with 4,412 deaths followed by Chengalpattu, Coimbatore and Tiruvallur.

Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar recently told a newspaper that many youngsters ignore early symptoms and come to the hospital with breathing problems, making it a challenging for the doctors.

Subramanian Swaminathan, Director - Infectious Diseases, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai. “We have had multiple such youngsters coming into the ICU and that’s a problem, because earlier we could send young people for home quarantine. Because youngsters are becoming suddenly sick in the current phase, it is now difficult to try and figure out who is going to get sick and who is not,” he said. The reasons for the younger age group getting affected could be many. They are the ones who move around a lot and therefore, they are probably more prone to getting infected. It is also that there has been a change in the virus because of which its effect on different age groups could have also changed, he said.

In February 2021, nearly 4 per cent of children less than 15 years of age were positive and now this figure has gone up to almost 20 per cent. Similarly, 30-35 per cent of cases are in the age group of 25 years to 40 years, which earlier was less than 15 per cent.

‘Complacency a reason’

Saranya Narayanan, Chief Microbiologist, Neuberg Diagnostics said, the reason for quicker spread of the infection may be the easing of restrictions late last year, complacency and safety protocols being flouted and increase in travel. “We urge parents to create a small community bio-bubble to monitor children while maintaining all the necessary safety protocols.”

Daily number of Covid-19 death in Tamil Nadu

Source: TN Health Ministry