Special Report By J. Choudhry, Editor Corporate Ambassador
According to USA’s National Institute of Health report, the world’s older population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Today, 8.5 percent of people worldwide (617 million _ 61 crore and 70 lac) are aged 65 years and over. By 2050, this generation will surge to 1.6 billion globally
Apart from catastrophic impacts of coronavirus on the global economy and the conspiracy theory whether America or China unleashed this deadly virus, different reports appearing in international media are indicating that the elderly people are the most affected by the COVID-19. For example, so far, China has conducted the biggest research of 72,000 corona cases which indicated that 81 percent of the victims of this virus were 50 years old and above and only 19 percent were between the ages of 15-49 years. Meanwhile, Italy had also reported that 95 percent of the victims of this virus were elderly Italians. Below of analytical graph of first 8,000 victims of this virus.
UK’s leading newspaper, Daily Mail report points out that elderly people are the most at-risk of developing severe coronavirus, but experts warn young, healthy people are still dying from the respiratory infection. Globally, more than 210,000 people in around 200 countries have been infected with COVID-19 since the outbreak began in China in December. Most of the first 8,000 fatalities recorded across the world have been people who were elderly or suffering underlying conditions, and have weakened immune systems. Chinese health officials carried out the biggest ever study on the never-before-seen strain of the virus, using data from 72,000 cases. They found that only 19 per cent of patients who died were below the age of 50 years. Thus, research shows that 81 percent of the victims of this virus were 50 years and above while rest victims were between the ages of 15-49 years. Many had underlying conditions like cirrhosis of the liver, hypertension, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Most spent more than a week in hospitals, with some undergoing treatment for a month or longer. But two died just four days after they were admitted.
While much about the virus remains unknown, medical experts found some positive signs in the fact that the disease did not appear to be killing young and otherwise healthy people. It was a somewhat reassuring sign, Dr. Lipkin wrote, that “the majority of fatal cases are elderly and/or have a chronic disease that would increase their susceptibility to infectious diseases.” Below is global data of Covid-19 (updated till May 3, 2020).
A report published in America’s leading newspaper Washington Post stated that there seemed to be a real medical basis to this generational framing. In China, the fatality rate from the coronavirus for people ages 10 to 39 is less than 0.2 percent, and almost all children under 10 are mysteriously unaffected by the virus. Meanwhile, among Chinese patients over 80 years old, mortality has been 21.9 percent. Among the first 105 Italian fatalities, the average age was 81. If hospitals worldwide become overwhelmed, this effect is likely to be magnified as doctors perform a kind of wartime triage, in which scarce beds and equipment are allocated to the patients considered most likely to have a chance of survival. Already in some Italian hospitals, older patients are being denied treatment.
Situation of Old Homes in United Kingdom
Thousands of care homes across Britain were locked down last month to stop COVID-19 from spreading among their frail and elderly residents. For Jamshad Ali, 87, it came anyway. Ali and six other residents at Hawthorn Green Care Home in east London died with “symptoms consistent with COVID-19,” with 21 others also possibly infected, said a spokesman for the home. With growing reports of COVID-19 deaths and cases at other homes, experts fear the disease, caused by the new coronavirus, which has already ripped through the care sector in the United States and the rest of Europe is now doing the same in Britain.
There is an intriguing aspect linked to the coronavirus fatalities. All the aged people dying of heart attack, acute diabetes, strokes and other problems, are being counted as corona victims in most of the countries in the world. Perhaps every country is trying to show as much corona-related casualties as is possible. Reports published in different media platforms, indicate that the corona virus infection test reports of scores of the deceased, who died, were not available, but the medical authorities declared them the corona victims.
Another important expect is that this virus has exposed the most powerful nations in the world, who neither have adequate facilities to combat this crisis nor control it immediately. Entire Europe, United Kingdom and America, known as the most powerful countries, have shown the highest rate of corona deaths and infections and these countries have reported shortage of beds in hospitals, ventilators and proper medication.
Why Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Gulf countries have low casualties
Different research articles and observations of ongoing corona problems in these countries indicate that the virus has affected badly in those countries where the temperature remained below 18 degree centigrade, while countries with 18+ temperature remained safe (far better than Europe, UK and USA). Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Gulf countries have reported lesser casualties than the world’s most powerful nations.
The case of Pakistan
When we talk about Pakistan, we must keep in mind that our countless people experience flue and fever every year when weather changes, especially in the winter season (during chilling weather). Thus, in other words, our people are used to face any flu-related virus, except the elderly people and those having chronic heart problems, diabetes, cancer and other deadly diseases. Despite being 5th largest populated country in the world, Pakistan’s situation is still not worrisome, except that the lockdown has paralysed every aspect of life, especially business and daily income of millions of people. Pakistan’s totally tally of deaths, so far, is still less than one-day casualties in the United States, Britain and many European countries. Below is Pakistan’s latest update on coronavirus, courtesy Dawn.com
Here is top-10 most populated nations in the world.
(Writer is a senior journalist, former Resident Editor of daily The Nation, Karachi, author of book “Who Bankrupted Pakistan” published in 2001 and TV/Social Media Analyst).
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