NEW DELHI: Productive age group of 20-40 years was most affected during the third Covid wave propelled by the Omicron in India, a latest study has said.
The study on Covid-19 third wave experience in India, in which 5,971 adults were surveyed, found that getting Covid-19 was higher in younger adults, most likely because of greater mobility and mingling.
The survey conducted by Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, co-chairman National Indian Medical Association (IMA) Covid-19 task force and its past president; Ramesh Shenoy and Anithadevi TS, said that nearly 45 per cent of people in the age group of 40 years tested positive.
This was followed by nearly 40 percent of people in the 30 years age group and 31.8 per cent in the 20 years age group.
Over 21 percent were those who were below ten years.
“Significantly, over 40 percent of the young people reported symptoms of moderate severity requiring bed rest or hospitalisation for things like IV fluids and pain control,” Dr Jayadevan told this newspaper.
He said this shows that Omicron is not the “common cold” that many people believe. The study was published in medRxiv, a preprint service for health sciences.
“Rather, this means a substantial loss of productivity in various strata of society. Thus, a sudden surge in cases could not only overwhelm healthcare establishments but also be bad for the economy in general,” he added.
With multiple waves from variants, the long term effects of repeated infections, including long Covid, are not fully known. “It is always better to prevent infection to the extent possible through established public health measures like indoor masking and to improve indoor ventilation,” Dr Jayadevan said.
Dr Darshana Reddy, consultant, Internal Medicine, Altius Hospital, Bangalore, who saw many young people who tested positive during the third wave, agreed with the report findings, saying that thankfully most of the cases were mild, as a result of a successful vaccination drive that had undoubtedly proved useful.
“The number of people infected with Omicron was dramatically higher than at any other time in the pandemic. The infection is mild in most individuals, but those who have severe illness still represent a significant number,” Dr Reddy said.