‘Youngsters who failed to socialize last year are making up for the loss this year’.

New Delhi: As Covid-19 cases have shot up across the nation in a second wave, doctors have noticed that a lot more youngsters are falling victims to Covid-19 and adding to the country’s Covid caseload. Experts said that this is because, last year as schools, universities, and offices were closed, the chances for youngsters to socialize were very low.

According to reports, two youngsters below 30 years of age died within hours of their admission due to Covid-19 in Chennai last week.

In Mumbai’s KEM Hospital, as many as 17% of the admission comprises of patients who are below 35 years of age.

Dr T. Jacob John, virologist at Christian Medical College-Vellore, told The Sunday Guardian, “I think, youngsters probably were less infected because of closure of schools, universities, and offices. And now the virus mutants spreading in India are all very fast-spreading variants. The relatively low infectivity of the previous variant spared a lot of youngsters. But the infectivity of the new variant as well as the previous one may be the reason for the high infections among youngsters.”

“Two, we need to know whether the younger people are getting infected for the first time or whether they are getting reinfected with the new variant,” he told The Sunday Guardian.

He further said that if they are getting reinfected, “then we have to bring other factors such as immune escape variant into consideration”. “It means that the immunity from the previous variant is not protecting the infected youngsters from the new variant,” he said.

Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, Vice Chairman of the epidemiology cell- Indian Medical Association- Kerala, told The Sunday Guardian, “Last year, everybody followed social distancing norms, and the chain of spread of the virus was broken at multiple levels. However, in the last six months, there has been a lack of Covid-appropriate behaviour and this has led to a huge rise in Covid cases. Youngsters who failed to socialize last year are making up for the loss this year.”