Half the Covid deaths in India is below 60 years of age: Health Ministry data

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 04, 2020 Published on August 04, 2020

The mortality of people in productive age groups in India seems to be much higher than that in other geographies, according to data presented by Health Ministry on Tuesday.

Nearly 39,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the country so far.

While only 2 per cent of Covid-19 deaths belonged to age bands below 25 years, nearly 48 per cent of the deaths occurred in two major productive age groups — 26-44 (11 per cent) and 45-60 (37 per cent), according to data presented by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at a press conference here.

This is much higher than the mortality reported in productive age groups in most major economies. In comparison, less than 10 per cent of deaths were in age groups below 54 years in the US even the pandemic was raging in the US.

According to Bhushan, men accounted for nearly 68 per cent of total Indian Covid-19 deaths ‘broadly in line with global trends’.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava, also present at the briefing, said currently 25-30 per cent of daily Covid-19 tests are done using rapid antigen tests. In the beginning, the share of rapid antigen tests was just 5 to 6 per cent. It has now gone up to 25 to 30 per cent, he said. While their specificity is 100 per cent, sensitivity ranged between 55 and ü85 per cent, the ICMR chief said.

Ventilators availability

While talking about ventilators, Bhushan said less than 1 per cent of the ventilators available in the country was used for Covid patients at any point in time. He said responding to the call given by the government, Indian firms are making and supplying as many as 60,000 ventilators, of which 18,000 have already been delivered to various States and Union Territories. Nearly ₹2,000 crore from the PM-CARES fund was used to finance 50,000 of these ventilators.

While India was importing 75 per cent of ventilators used in the country, today 96 per cent of these new ventilators are made within the country and they account for 90 per cent in value, he said.

According to Bhargava, three vaccines are under advance clinical trials in the country. While Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila vaccines have entered Phase II clinical trials at 11 sites each, the recombinant Oxford Unviersity vaccine has just been approved for Phase II and III trials at 17 sites, he said.

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Published on August 04, 2020
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