April 18, 2021 2:36:04 am
The percentage of senior citizens among those getting infected and succumbing to Covid-19 in Maharashtra has increased from last year, data from public health department shows.
In 2020, 3.23 lakh people or 15.94 per cent of total infections in Maharashtra were of people aged more than 60 years. In February this year, senior citizens accounted for 16.4 per cent of total infections, and in March, this rose to 18 per cent of total infections.
Similarly, in 2020, 57.51 per cent of total deaths were of senior citizens, their share rose to 64.5 per cent this year. Data between February 1 and March 15 shows, of 2,243 deaths, 1,449 were of senior citizens.
In February, 33,301 and in March 23,720 senior citizens got infected across Maharashtra. The mortality rate among them is highest in all age groups. Of total deaths in the state, comorbidity like hypertension was found in over 45 per cent deaths and diabetes in close to 40 per cent.
Dr Avinash Supe, head of the state death audit committee, said the disease is infecting senior citizens and young population equally, but people with comorbidities are worse affected. Doctors are also worried that senior citizens, who turned up in large numbers to get vaccinated, might be catching the infection at vaccine centres.
“We are seeing vaccination centres turning into hubs of infection due to crowding and lack of mask adherence,” Supe added.
Doctors said they are seeing many senior citizens, who had been administered a dose of vaccine, getting infected. “There is no literature to link vaccination and Covid-19 infection or anything to suggest that immunity goes down after a jab. That is just a conjecture. I am treating 4-5 senior citizens currently who got their first vaccine dose in the past few days. It is possible they caught the infection before the vaccination, and symptoms manifested later or they removed mask while at the vaccination centre,” said intensivist Dr Gunjan Chanchalani.
People in the age group 31-40 years get mostly infected by Covid-19, accounting for 21 per cent of total cases, data from last year and this year shows. They are followed by those in the 41-50 age bracket. Of total infections, 18.3 per cent belongs to this group, followed by those aged 21-30 years, who account for 16.4 per cent of the total infections in the state. Those aged less than 20 years account for 11 per cent of the total infections.
People in the age group of 21-50 years step out for work and get exposed the most. But fatality data shows, of total deaths last year, 18.4 per cent were from this pool, and this year (February 1 to March 15), their share dipped to 14.36 per cent of the total deaths in the state.
Dr Rahul Pandit, member of the task force audit committee, said there is also general laxity in Covid-appropriate behaviour. “Since several senior citizens got vaccination, it is possible they felt relaxed in following the norms and got infected later. But vaccination will ensure the symptoms are mild,” he added.
Maharashtra has 6.47 lakh active Covid-19 cases so far. On Saturday, the state recorded 67,123 cases and 419 deaths.
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