The youth brigade seems to have borne the brunt of coronavirus in the state during the period April 14 to May 31. There was a 28-fold rise in the number of cases reported in this group, with experts attributing it to the fact that since members of this group are constantly stepping out to take care of some work or the other, they have been more exposed to the virus.
According to a report put out by the Medical Education of Drugs and Department (MEDD), until April 14 (Lockdown 1.0), 924 corona cases were reported from this category; but, by May 31 (Lockdown 4.0), this number had spiked to 26,325. Senior health officials said a large number of children and youth have been infected after coming into contact with infected family members and friends. “As per an initial finding, children and young adults mainly got infected due to ignorance about the contagious nature of the disease and through unintentional contact with infected family members,” he said.
Dr Vikrant Shah, infectious diseases expert, said it is likely that the number of cases in this age group is high because they keep stepping out to run errands. And since social distancing norms are not followed, they are the worst hit. “This is not surprising. There is a higher risk of young people getting infected also because many young people have hypertension, diabetes and other co-morbidities, putting them at higher risk of complications,” he said.
Dr Lancelot Pinto, consultant pulmonologist, P D Hinduja Hospital & MRC, said the proportion of those infected will be skewed towards the more productive, younger population, as these are the ones likely to be engaged in buying groceries, moving outside the house for essential commodities; they may be migrants or engaged in essential services. “If the mortality in this group were high, that would be a cause for serious concern. The number of infections being high seems intuitively expected,” he said.