People in the age group of 31 to 40 years are most exposed to Covid-19 and are likely spreaders within families. Data from the state public health department shows that this age group, which accounts for 15 per cent of the state’s population, accounts for 21 per cent of the total Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra. At the moment, children and teenagers account for only 10.4 per cent of total cases. There are 1.79 lakh children and teenagers who have been detected with coronavirus.
But with the government planning to reopen schools for classes 9 to 12 from November 23, this pool may grow, and there is concern that students may become potential carriers and bring the virus home. But the rate of recovery in this age group is high and fatalities low.
Of 17.25 lakh cases assessed by the public health department in Maharashtra, 3.66 lakh are people aged 31 to 40 years forming 21.22 per cent of total caseload. They are followed by people in the 41-50 age bracket who contribute to 17.87 per cent of total cases. The two age groups form the bulk of working professionals and workers who have had to venture out of home to earn a living.
State officials said the 15-20 days following Diwali will be crucial due to the multiple relaxations in lockdown, and the intermingling during festivities. Cinema halls, reopening of schools, and shopping for festivals may lead to sudden spike in cases. With physical distancing difficult to implement for children, there are concerns that schools could also end up being spreaders. But the state Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad reasoned that children need time to prepare in the classroom before board exams in May. Online education will continue for students who wish to study at home.
A simulation model prepared by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research had pointed out that if economic activities in Mumbai resumed fully on November 1, there would be a small second wave that could be handled with existing infrastructure, along with 18 to 25 daily deaths. TIFR had advised that schools and colleges could be put off opening until January 2021 to prevent a strain on the health infrastructure. Meanwhile, of the nearly one lakh actively infected cases in the state, 4.7 per cent (4,777) are critical and another 5.4 per cent are on oxygen support. While there are 12 people aged above 100 years who contracted Covid-19 in Maharashtra so far, there are 3,214 in the 91-100 age bracket and 25,170 in the 81-90 age bracket who were infected. The mortality risk is highest amongst this age group.
Of the total deaths in state, men account for 65 per cent and women 35 per cent. Although 39 per cent of total cases are females, their mortality rate is lower than men. Comorbidity has remained a driving factor with 70 per cent of deaths recording a history of diabetes, hypertension, heart ailment, lung ailment or kidney problem.
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