Published on June 14, 2021
AHMEDABAD: Covid-19 was earlier considered to be a virus that targetted the elderly and people above 60 years were considered high risk. As the official toll of pandemic in the state hovers at 10,000, analysis of mortality data reveals the pattern changed significantly in the second wave.
Analysis of 9,985 deaths recorded in official records of Gujarat indicated that currently those above and below 60 account for equal share in mortality. While 50.4% deaths are recorded in the 0 to 59 years age group, patients above 60 years accounted for the remaining 49.6%.
As on Sunday, official mortality figure reached 9,997 with deaths of six patients in 24 hours. In absolute numbers, Gujarat ranks 11th among states, whereas in terms of mortality, it ranks15th with 1.2%.
The second wave changed the target of the virus – compared to 60% deaths in 2020 in the 60-plus group, this year’s data shows that the percentage went down to 41.3%. This year, 58.6% deaths were recorded in the 15 to 59 years group, according to the state health & family welfare department. The findings are significant as this year, April (2,664) and May (2,650) accounted for more than half (53%) of Covid-19 deaths in Gujarat.
“There are a few reasons for this – due to a change in virus’ profile, a high number of younger patients got infected. Moreover, distress signs were ignored and led to happy hypoxia. Oxygen saturation went down steadily, and when the patient was brought to hospital, the lungs were infected beyond repair,” said Dr Vivek Dave, a city-based critical care specialist.
Distress signs were ignored
There are a few reasons for the phenomenon – due to a change in virus’ profile, a very high number of younger patients had got infected. Moreover, distress signs were ignored in some cases that led to happy hypoxia. Oxygen saturation went down steadily, and when the patient was brought to the hospital setting, the lungs were infected beyond repair,” said Dr Vivek Dave, a city-based critical care specialist. “Lung involvement was also relatively higher compared to 2020.”
Experts also pointed out factors such as vaccination for the senior citizens soon after the first wave. The working population (21 to 58 years) were relatively late in getting the protection.
The mortality got reduced among the senior citizens who were vaccinated, said Dr Kartikeya Parmar, in-charge of Covid-19 hospital at Civil Hospital. “We had maintained vaccination status records of those getting admitted, and the results indicated that those who had at least one shot had relatively lesser chances of getting critical,” he said.