Commenting on the number of young people getting more infected in the ongoing second phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian Council of Medical Research Chief Dr Balram Bhargava said there are primarily two reasons behind the surge. Without dismissing the probable contribution of variants, he said, "We have found that younger people are getting slightly more involved because suddenly they have gone out and there are variants also prevalent in the nation which may be affecting the younger people as well."
During the press briefing of the health ministry on Tuesday, Dr Bhargava was asked whether the Centre is taking any step to initiate vaccination of the children who are said to be the target of the third wave of the pandemic. Dr Bhargava said there is not much difference in age between the first and the second wave. "We have been analysing the date since August. People above the age of 45 years are more vulnerable to any adverse outcome and the hospitalised mortality is around 9.6 to 9.7 per cent," he said.
Though more and more young people are reporting the infection on the ongoing wave, which started around March, the Centre in April refuted the reports of the shift in age groups. In April, the Centre showed data claiming that in the first wave, 31 per cent of people affected were under the age of 30 years while in 2021, the percentage rose to 32.
The government's principal scientific advisor K Vijay Raghavan recently said that the country should be prepared for a third wave of the pandemic which can be thwarted if adequate precautions are taken. Since then, various reports have been claiming that this wave will impact children more. The Maharashtra government has started setting up paediatric care centres in the state preparing for the third wave.