As the country continues to battle the second wave of Covid-19, the government on Monday said that older population continued to remain most vulnerable to the infection, with more than 70 per cent of Covid-19 patients being over 40 years of age in both waves. The proportion of younger patients in the second wave was only marginally high, despite opening up of activities.
In the first Covid-19 wave, 5.8% patients were below 20 years of age while it is 4.2% in the second wave. Similarly, 25.5% Covid-19 patients were between 20-40 years of age in the first group, while it is 23.7% in the second wave.
Speaking to reporters, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said that there was no difference in deaths between first and second wave among hospitalised patients, while the oxygen requirement is higher in second wave and ventilator requirement was not higher in the second wave. “No difference in deaths between first and second wave among hospitalised patients. About 54.5 per cent patients require oxygen in second wave against 41.5 per cent in the first wave," he said.
“More than 70 per cent patients in both waves are more than 40 years old, only marginally higher proportion of younger patients. Higher proportion of asymptomatic patients in the second wave," the ICMR chief said, based on the study of 1,885 patients in second wave and 7,600 patients in the first wave. Bhargava appealed that wastage of oxygen must not happen and it should be rationalised.
Prevalence of shortness of breath is slightly higher in the second wave but sore throat and dry cough and other symptoms were higher in the first wave, the Centre said on Monday. Similar trends were observed in all the states, it added.
NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul said in the first wave 31 per cent patients were aged less than 30 years, this time it is up to 32 per cent. “Essentially there is no difference," Paul said. Paul added that the drug Remdesivir must be used on hospitalised patients in moderate stages of illness on oxygen and it is not to be used in home settings.