With Vadodara touching 9,543 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the demographical breakup of the positive cases in the city indicates that the labour force and service classes are the most affected by the virus after the government lifted most curbs earlier this week that had been in place since March this year.
The age-wise spread of the virus as per data from the Vadodara Health Department shows that out of the 9,543 cases in the city, 7,012 are between 21 years and 60 years, with the age group of 51 to 60 years being the maximum number of detected positive cases (1,991).
Health officials said that the opening of the lockdown and the lifting of curbs from public movement has meant that most exposed to the virus have been those who went back to work in the factories and offices. The official figures show that 1,886 cases are between the age group of 41 and 50 years, while 1,772 cases are between 31 years and 40 years. Moreover, 1,363 cases are between the age group of 21 to 30 years. In July, after the third phase of easing of lockdown, there were 548 cases between 31-40 years of age, 672 cases between 41 to 50 years and 747 cases between 51 to 60 years.
VMC Medical Officer for Health Dr Devesh Patel says, “The trend shows that those who are employed — working and service class people — are getting infected the most. We have not seen many infections among those under 20 or in children. Even if some children have been infected, their recovery is very quick within about five days so much so that some private empanelled hospitals, who had also reserved a paediatric Covid-19 ward have requested us to allow them to discontinue it.”
Patel said that the most vulnerable group is 51-60 years, followed by the younger working class. “The age group of 51-60 years has been recording the highest cases and also has the highest number of active cases. This is because with age, there could be comorbid conditions and therefore the immunity would be compromised. But the movement of people has definitely meant that many persons from the affluent class are also getting infected now. The spread has no specific pattern any more. The infection is now spreading from anyone and anywhere because people are also careless,” says Patel.
The age group of 51 to 60 years has recorded 45 of the 160 deaths officially declared by the VMC. Age group of 61-70 has the highest deaths at 48 and 1,473 positive cases. However, the age group of 31-40 has recorded only eight deaths in the official tally and 21-30 years has recorded three deaths while 41-50 has seen 24 deaths.
Patel says, “It would be a matter of concern if the younger age groups recorded higher deaths. It is natural that with age, from 50 years onward, patients do have comorbid conditions and therefore the deaths are higher in these groups.”
According to a doctor from the Gujarat Medical Research and Education Society (GMERS)-run Gotri hospital, said, “In the earlier months, we saw that the spread of the virus was restricted to communities and neighbourhoods — first the Nagarwada Saiyedwada area, then we had Panigate and a caste of shop owners getting affected. It then spread to Fatehpura. We had the neighbourhoods in Warasiya and Waghodia ring road. Although the source could not be identified, the infection was micro-community transmission. But with the unlock, we are now into a full-fledged community transmission stage where many incoming patients every day belong to the working class like domestic help and their families, drivers, helpers. Many professionals have been infected too.”
Vadodara has seen 6,262 men and 3,281 women in the tally of positive cases.
In contrast, younger age groups of 11-20 and 0-10 have only 339 and 130 cases since March and age groups of 71 to 80 and 81-90 have recorded 516 and 114 cases respectively. In persons older than 90 years, only nine cases have been recorded so far with three active cases currently, six recoveries and zero deaths.
Of the total number of cases, GMERS Gotri has 275 admissions, SSG 266 and 499 are in home isolation, while 89 are on treatment at Covid Care Centres. Private empanelled hospitals have 201 cases.