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60+ people account for 53% of Covid-19 deaths, says govt

(This story originally appeared inon Dec 20, 2020)NEW DELHI: TheCovid-19 case fatality rateis highest at 24.6% among those above 60 with pre-existing health conditions, even as people in this age group make up for only around 19% percent ofinfected patients.

Overall — with and without co-morbidities — those above 60 account for 53% of deaths from Covid, official data shows. The case fatality rate, indicating the share of deaths among infected cases, is lowest at 8.8% among people less than 45 years of age but with co-morbidities, whereas those in the same age band but without any pre-existing disease or disorder is merely 0.2%.

However, the incidence of the infection is higher among people under 45 years of age — who accounted for 60% of all Covid-19 infections in the country, but constituted only 12% of total deaths. Officials say the analysis of case fatality data forms the basis for the priority age group population outlined in the Covid-19 immunisation plan.

“Our aim is to reduce the mortality in the first phase of immunisation and build herd immunity in the second phase by vaccinating a certain percentage of population. So, apart from the healthcare and frontline workers who are most vulnerable because of the nature of their jobs, when we look at age groups the above 50 population will cover almost 75% with co-morbidities where the case fatality rate is highest currently. Then, we address the infection among younger population but with pre-existing conditions because such people are at higher risk of mortality than those without comorbidities,” an official said.

Overall, case fatality rate among people with co-morbidities is estimated at 17.9%, whereas that in those without any such conditions is only 1.2%. So far, 1,45,136 deaths due to Covid-19 have been registered in India.
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