Karnataka: Of cases in past month, 47% in 15-45 yrs bracket | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Experts say the government should ideally begin vaccinating the moving population, which largely comprises those above the 18 years of age, since figures show that 47% or 38,256 of the total 67,298 people who tested positive for Covid-19 between March 5 and April 5 this year in Karnataka are in the 15 to 45 years age group.
The Karnataka government apprised the central government of these statistics during a video conference meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures to curb the spread of the virus. During the meeting, state health department officials provided age-wise distribution of Covid cases in Karnataka in the past one month.

As per the state health and family welfare department data, there are 4,172 children in the age group 0-14 years who tested positive between March 5 and April 5 this year. The highest number of infections – 19,378 – were seen among those aged between 15 and 29 years, a majority of whom were students, while 18,853 people in the age group of 30-44 years had also tested positive during the same period.
There were 14,978 cases in the age group 45 to 59 years, and 9,917 people above 60 years of age who tested positive.
Of the total 67,298 patients, 307 died of which 214 (or 70%) of them were aged 60 years and above. While 75 people in the age group of 45-59 years succumbed to Covid-19, the number was four for the 15-30 years age group and 13 for the 30-45 years group.
“This is precisely what we have been seeing in practice,” said Dr Ravindra Mehta, Bengaluru-based pulmonologist and member of BBMP’s Covid expert committee. “The severity of infection is less among youngsters. They are primarily getting infected as they are moving around. Now that we have largely focused on the elderly, which is the vulnerable population, the focus now should shift to those who are young and mobile.”
He said it is people in this age group who are most exposed to the virus and, once infected, they spread it to family members.
Dr MK Sudarshan, chairperson, state Covid technical advisory committee, said that the two vaccines currently available can be administered to anyone above the age of 18 years and the government must extend the drive to everyone above 18 years, but must also ensure supply of doses.
“The second wave of infections is spreading very quickly,” Dr Sudarshan said. “Anyone aged above 18 years must be allowed to get the vaccine. They should be able to buy the drug at private pharmacies with a medical prescription.”
Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, member, expert committee of Covid taskforce, said he has been a strong proponent of vaccinating all above 18 years. “A lot of younger people are getting infected and they end up becoming superspreaders. We need to curb this by vaccinating all youngsters,” said Dr Ballal.
Considering the high number of cases among youngsters, the state has written to the Centre urging it to extend the vaccination drive to all above 18 years. “There has been no response so far,” said KV Trilok Chandra, commissioner, health and family welfare department.

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Sagar Biswas

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