Delhi

‘Youth getting infected as they are going out for work, parties’

A higher proportion of people below 45 years of age are getting infected with COVID-19 this year than in 2020 as they are stepping out for work, pleasure trips and parties, said doctors at multiple hospitals across the city. However, they claimed that most of the ICU admissions are still elderly.

They also said the virus may be now more infectious than before due to mutations, but there is no data to establish it at this point.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday reiterated that 65% of patients were below 45 years of age as per data of the last 10-15 days.

Head of Department of Internal Medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital S.P. Byotra said this year more children are getting infected with the virus than last year.

“They develop fever, cough, cold, but it is not severe in most cases. For elderly people, the severity is more as they have comorbidities. Last year, people were scared to go outside, which is not the case now. This month, we have seen dozens of people in their 20s and 30s, college students and married couples, who said they had gone for a trip or a party and got infected after it,” said Dr. Byotra.

Epidemiologist and president of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Delhi, K. Srinath Reddy, said more young people getting infected is a trend in other parts of the country too.

“Even in the United Kingdom, more young people are getting infected,” he said. Head of Department of Critical Care at Holy Family Hospital Sumit Ray said there are three reasons why more people below 45 years of age are testing positive.

Three reasons

“One, they are more mobile. Two, older people are more cautious and many of them have taken the vaccine. Three, the virus has definitely become more infectious. Earlier in a family of five, two might test positive and later on, two-three might test negative. But now, in most cases all members of a family are testing positive,” he said.

Dr. Ray said one-fifth of the ICU patients in the hospital are below 45 years of age and one-third in general wards are below 45 years.

Medical Director of Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital Suresh Kumar said that even the young people are developing severe illnesses.

“Many people below the age of 45 are also getting admitted in ICUs,” he said.

Senior Consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital Suranjit Chatterjee said many of the younger people are not following COVID-appropriate behaviour.

“They are working and going out. Last year, there was a lockdown, but everything is open now. Clinically, there is a suspicion that the virus is more infectious now,” he added.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 4:14:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/youth-getting-infected-as-they-are-going-out-for-work-parties/article34314902.ece

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