New Delhi: Of the total number of cases seen so far, the population of India between 21 to 40 years accounts for the maximum share of coronavirus infections, at 41.8%. This figure stands at 32.8% for the 41-60 age group and 16.69% for the 60 years and above section.
The remaining — 8.61% — is accounted for by the youngest age group of 0-20 years.
The age-profile of coronavirus patients in the country was revealed by the central government for the first time on Saturday during its daily press briefing.
As of 9am on Saturday, 2,902 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in the country, 184 had recovered, and 68 had died. Based on this data and the age-profile shared by the government, 1,213 people between 21 to 40 years, 951 from the age group 41-60 years, and 484 aged 60 and above were affected by the virus.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said there are 58 critical cases in the country right now, with most of them from Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. Of the 2,902 who have tested positive since January, the 68 deaths have largely been elderly people, he said.
“With regards to mortality, we have seen that age, elderly people, co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney issues and cardiac issues have been a high-risk category. I will once again request people in this category to follow our guidelines," he said.
Compared to other countries, India has a far greater population of those in the age-group 15-60 years. As per 2011 Census data, 29.5% of Indians belong to the 0-15 age group, 62.5% to the 15-59 age group and 8% are aged 60 years and above. In contrast last year, nearly a quarter of the Italian population was 65 years or older, while China's elderly population was above 11%, as per a BBC report. According to Statista.com website, the coronavirus has infected 72% of those aged over 50.
However, it should be noted that Italy had tested 6.2 lakh people till April 3 while India has tested 75,000 people so far.
Health experts said the age-profile is not surprising at all.
“Those in the 21-40 years age group are the most productive. They are travelling for work-related things. This is why, based on their mobility, these are the initial set of cases we have seen and it is not surprising. These are just the infections,” said Giridhar R Babu, Professor and Head, Lifecourse Epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India.
Babu said the mortality seen in India is largely among those above 60 years of age.
“We have to keep a watch on two things now. One, if the infections are rising among those in the 41-60 age group and among those above 60 years. Also, we must realise that no one is immune," he added.