Younger people without comorbidities are increasingly among those dying due to COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu, government data shows. Between April 20 and 26, some 24 out of 494 deaths were in the 25-40 age group. This was six times more than four deaths in July last year when the first wave of the pandemic reached the peak.
This month, the number of young people dying of Covid peaked. Just in the week between May 5 and 11, there were 79 deaths – three times high since April. Many of those who died are as young as 25.
“Covid is affecting the younger population. They are becoming sicker quickly and deteriorating as well. It’s worrying,” V Dedeepiya Devaprasad, senior consultant of critical care, Apollo Hospitals, told NDTV.
“Coming to the second wave, a lot of younger people are getting affected,” said Sharon Sundararaj, nurse Manager, Covid, Gleneagles Global Health City.
Dipu Pradhan, 22, a college student from Assam, is lucky to have recovered after a fierce battle with Covid. He contracted the virus in the second wave. In a few days, his condition turned serious.
He was breathless with 50 per cent lung involvement requiring 50 litres of high-flow oxygen. Now it’s a new lease of life for him after 10 days in hospital, three of them in the intensive care unit. Relieved, he told NDTV, “At least I got a hospital, that is the hope. There are many who don’t get beds.”
Experts blame the situation on delayed reporting and testing by younger people, besides a belief that younger people are immune.
“Prior to the second wave, there was a lot of Covid inappropriate behaviour by youngsters. As far as the percentage, they may not be very significant but now that we are seeing 30,000 cases, they are fairly significant,” Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said.
It’s a new worry for Tamil Nadu amid the second wave even as the daily tally hovers around 30,000 and positivity rate at 20 per cent.
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