Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
Almost half the patients who died of coronavirus in the country till Thursday, April 30, were less than 60 years of age. Since April 18, less than 25 per cent of the deaths had occurred in this age group.
According to the latest Health Ministry Data, people aged over 75 years now account for just 9.2 per cent of the deaths. This is a sharp fall from 42.2 per cent earlier.
Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan has asked state chief secretaries to "broadbase" the criteria for red, orange and green zones ahead of May 3, when the lockdown is supposed to end. She listed 130 red, 284 orange, and 319 green districts.
"The districts were earlier designated as hotspots/red zones, orange zones and green zones, primarily based on the cumulative cases reported and the doubling rate. Since recovery rates have gone up, the districts are now being designated across various zones duly broad-basing the criteria. A district will be considered under green zone if there are are no confirmed cases so far or there is no reported case since last 21 days in the district," The Indian Express quoted Sudan as writing in a letter.
Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh have 10 or more districts in the red zone.
Latest data released by the Union Health Ministry reveals that 14 per cent of COVID-19 patients who died were less than 45 years, 34.8 per cent were 45-60 years, 42 per cent were 60-75 years, 9.2 per cent were over 75 years. This means that 48.8 per cent of those who died were aged less than 60 years.
A similar analysis by the Health Ministry on April 18, when the death toll stood at 488, revealed that 42.2 per cent of the deaths occurred in the over-75-years age group, 33.1 per cent in 60-75 years, 10.3 per cent in 45-60 years, and 14.4 per cent below 45 years. Only 24.7 per cent of those who died were less than 60 years of age.
With the number of cases on the rise, the Health Ministry responded to a letter from Sudan to the states earlier, saying: "A guidance note of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been issued on April 20 to enable the delivery of essential health services during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes providing essential services for reproductive and child health, immunisation, communicable diseases such as TB, leprosy and vector-borne diseases, as well as non-communicable diseases such as cancer and dialysis."
The ministry further said that reports that private hospitals are "hesitant to provide critical services like dialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy and institutional deliveries to their regular patients" are "unacceptable".
"States/ UTs are also advised to follow the guidelines regarding COVID-19 testing issued by ICMR on April 17. The protocol should be widely disseminated among healthcare service providers and testing for COVID-19 should be as per protocol," it said.
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