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Coronavirus | 70% of COVID-19 fatalities in men, says Health Ministry

An artist paints colour into a wayside wall as he is involved in the coronavirus awareness painting in Bhubaneswar, on October 13, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday cautioned those below 60-plus of age to not be reckless about COVID-19 prevention. It said that nearly 14 % of COVID-19 fatalities have been reported from the 45-60 age group with co-morbidities and 1.5% without co-morbidities.

Presenting the data at a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said 70% of COVID-19 fatalities had been reported in men and the rest in women. “We have 1% fatalities reported from the below-17 age group and the 18-25 age group.”

Also read | India continues to be among countries with lowest per million COVID-19 cases, deaths

Across the country, the number of fatalities due to COVID-19 had been lower than 1,000 mark for 10 successive days. Seven hundred and six case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. Of these, nearly 79% were concentrated in 10 States/UTs. More than 23% of new fatalities reported were from Maharashtra (165 deaths), he stated.

‘Use social vaccine’

Speaking at the press meet, Vinod K. Paul, member, NITI Aayog, urged the general public to use social vaccine against the virus till a vaccine is developed.

Also read | Steady surge of new cases in Maharashtra, Karnataka

“The vaccine will come when it will come and till then it is essential that we maintain precautions. The pandemic is stabilising but winters are known to be conducive for the spread of viruses. Many countries are now seeing a second peak, which is worse than the first one. So we have to prevent this by wearing a mask, keeping hygiene and avoiding crowding. If we are not careful large gatherings for festivals could turn into super spreading events. Till we have a vaccine this is our only way out,’’ said Dr. Paul.

Coronavirus | 70% of COVID-19 fatalities in men, says Health Ministry
 

Two indigenous vaccines were in the final stage of the phase-2 trial and the results would be out soon. “On the basis of which further strategy will be devised. The third vaccine candidate [Oxford] involving the Serum Institute is undergoing the third-phase clinical trial. Results are expected in November end or so,’’ he added.

Coronavirus India lockdown Day 201 updates | October 13, 2020

Mr. Bhushan said pricing, storage and distribution modalities for the vaccine were being worked out.

India currently had one of the lowest cases per million and reported deaths per million. While the global figure for cases/million was 4,794, India was clocking 5,199. The U.K., Russia, South Africa, the U.S. and Brazil were reporting higher numbers. The deaths/million in India were 79, while the world average was 138, he observed.

“It would be unfair to compare India with high income countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Russia, France etc. as they are not on an equal footing. This is primarily because of its population dynamics which results in a lopsided distribution of resources,’’ he pointed out.

Also read | No reopening of schools for now, student health is our priority, says TN Education Minister

On parameters such as of availability of doctors and nurses per million, as also the percentage of GDP spent on health, India’s comparison with the other high-income countries would present a skewed analysis. Given the larger context, India’s targeted strategies in COVID-19 management and the public health response over the last several months have resulted in encouraging outcomes, he asserted.

Consistent slide

Data released by the Ministry noted that India was reporting a consistent slide in the new confirmed cases. New cases numbering 55,342 were registered in the last 24 hours. “From the last five weeks, there is a continuous decline in the average daily new cases. The weekly average of daily new cases fell from 92,830 cases in the 2nd week of September to 70,114 cases in 2nd week of October,’’ noted the data.

It said India continued to report a trend of steadily decreasing active cases. “Presently, the active cases comprise merely 11.69% of the total positive cases of the country standing at 8,38,729. The active cases have been below the 9 lakh mark for the fifth consecutive day. Seventy six per cent of the new confirmed cases are from 10 States and UTs,’’ it stated.

Karnataka had overtaken Maharashtra with the highest number of new reported cases. “Both still are contributing more than 7,000 new cases. The States which are reporting spurt in cases are Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. New recoveries numbering 77,760 were added in the last 24 hours. With this, the total number of recoveries has crossed 62 lakh [62,27,295]. Higher number of single day recoveries is also reflected in the continuous increase in the national recovery rate, which is at present 86.78%,’’ said the Ministry.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 10:17:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-70-of-covid-19-fatalities-in-men-says-health-ministry/article32845248.ece

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