10% of India’s population above 60 accounts for 50% of Covid deaths | India News

Jun 3, 2020

NEW DELHI: The elderly, who constitute 10% of India’s population, accounted for over 50% of the country’s Covid-19 deaths, the government said on Tuesday. Besides, 73% of Covid-19 deaths were among those with co-morbidities, the health ministry said, arguing that India was able to manage Covid-19 treatment and reduce deaths better than many other countries.
People aged 60 to 74 years — comprising 8% of the total population — accounted for 38% of Covid-19 deaths. Those above 74 years, representing 2% of population, constituted 12% of total deaths. The analysis was shared by the Centre even as the novel coronavirus death toll rose to 5,598 with 204 more fatalities, while 8,171 new cases took the total number of infections to over 1.98 lakh.
Health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said it might not be enough to see India’s numbers in isolation without considering the population size and its death and infection rates per lakh or per million. He was reacting to commentary that the country had become the seventh worst hit globally —
“Our Covid-19 fatality rate of 2.82% is among the lowest in the world, compared to a global fatality rate of 6.13%. We have been able to achieve this due to timely identification of cases and proper clinical management,” Agarwal said. He also said India’s Covid-19 fatality per lakh population was 0.41, against 4.9 globally.
It was imperative that high-risk people took required preventive action and also took timely action based on medical advice in case they experienced Covid-19 symptoms, Agarwal said. The government also maintained that there was no under-reporting of Covid-19 deaths in India and states were doing causality assessment and attributing cause of death accordingly.
An ICMR official said not all deaths could be put down to Covid-19 and that people who died in hospitals were assessed in terms of their medical condition.

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