73% of those who have died of COVID-19 are men: Health Ministry data
Lav Agarwal broke down the demographics of the pandemic in India and said that confirmed cases consist of 76% males and 24% females.
In a press briefing at 4 pm today, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry apprised the media on the latest COVID-19 developments in the country.
The MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) website has been updated with information on quarantine facilities, handling and disposing of biohazard waste, as well as taking care of your mental health during these difficult times.
Agarwal re-emphasized the importance of wearing protective face covers if going out or when in densely populated areas. Under central initiatives, rural self-employment training is teaching individuals how to make face covers to provide remuneration and beef up production as well. He added that that the National Health Mission had previously released Rs 1,100 crore in assistance to states, and now an additional 3,000 crore has been released as well.
The latest roundup of cases
Agarwal said that 4,065 cases have been confirmed so far, 693 of which have been in the last 24 hours. Out of these, 291 people have recovered and 109 have died, 30 of them yesterday. Of all cases, 1,455 have been linked to the Tablighi Jamaat meeting.
Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, added that around 25,500 of those linked to the meeting have been quarantined, and 1,705 foreigners involved have been blacklisted from entering the country again.
73% of deaths are in males
Agarwal broke down the demographics of the pandemic in India and said that confirmed cases consist of 76% males and 24% females. As for deaths, 73% have been males and 27% have been females.
The age breakdown of confirmed cases also had some surprises:
- 47% of cases in those under 40
- 34% of cases in those aged 40-60
- 19% of cases in those aged 60 and above.
However, the breakdown of deaths was different:
- 63% of those who died were over 60
- 30% of those who died were between 40 to 60
- 7% of those who died were below 40.
Further, 86% of those who have died had comorbidities such as chronic heart disease, kidney disease and hypertension. Agarwal stressed that even young people with comorbidities are at risk and that everyone needs to practice social distancing to cut transmission and protect communities.
5 lakh rapid action test kits on the way
Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, Head Scientist of ICMR said that contrary to earlier notions, 5 lakh kits have been ordered from abroad, not 8 lakhs. Of this, 2.5 lakh are expected to be delivered by the 8th or 9th of April. He added the country’s current capacity is 13,000 tests a day which can be expanded to 25,000 a day if labs work in double shifts. The number of tests conducted is expected to increase soon, he said. However, he added, that it is not about the number of tests that are undertaken, but that the ‘right people’ come forward to get tested so that they can get tested and isolated should the need arise. This statement underlined the government’s current approach of avoiding blanket testing and focussing on at risk-individuals and populations.
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