There has been a surge in the number of Covid cases being reported between the age group of 30-45 years, which is the working age group. As per the dashboard, over 10,000 cases have been reported in this age group, all experiencing mild symptoms. It is likely their immunity level dropped because of not taking a booster dose of the vaccine.
Experts have attributed the rise of cases in this age bracket to being more exposed to the virus, with people constantly stepping out for work. Doctors have voiced the need for citizens to mask up as this young infected group may turn into spreaders.
With the complete relaxation of Covid restrictions in April and the gradual flattening of the pandemic curve, the younger population in the city seems to have dropped its guard. Due to higher mobility of the younger population, the infection rate is equally prevalent among them as it is among the elderly with comorbidities.
Almost all cases being recorded in the city are from high-rises and very few are from slum areas. Areas such as Juhu, Lokhandwala, Oshiwara and Versova have reported less than 2 per cent of cases from slum pockets of the ward. Moreover, most of these cases are reported in the 30-60 year age bracket i.e the working population. Those infected have mild symptoms like body ache and fever. There is also a lesser number of high-risk contact cases compared to the number of cases.
“Though numbers of infected are less compared to the first three waves, still cases are being reported in the age group of 30-60 years which is a concern. Interestingly, most of them have taken both doses of the vaccine, while only a few of them have taken the precautionary (booster) dose. Many of them are contracting the infection as their level of antibodies or immunity might have dropped,” said a medical health officer from the civic health department.
The official added that the rise in cases is not surprising. There is a higher risk of young people getting infected also because many of them have hypertension, diabetes and other comorbidities, putting them at higher risk of complications.
According to Dr Kishore Sathe, emergency medicine specialist, P D Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, the number of Covid infections across various age groups remained the same during the 1st and 2nd waves. “This time too, Covid is prevalent in elder populations with multiple comorbid conditions and those who have not taken booster doses are still susceptible to the virus.”
Dr Sushrut Ganpule, consultant pulmonologist, Jupiter Hospital, Pune, said with the Covid protocols taking a back seat even in offices and commercial spaces, people have forgotten the social distance norms and Covid is bound to show its ugly head once again. “It is important to remember that pandemic is not over yet. Though wearing a mask is no longer mandatory except when using public transport, it should not be forgotten that masks are the final barrier against Covid. With the virus mutating, it would be difficult to detect. Though the Omicron mutant is not lethal, prevention is better than cure,” he said.