The new data and research on COVID-19 has shown that it is not just older people who are vulnerable to the coronavirus infection and resultant complications but a large number of youths are also ending up in hospitals. With the rate of hospitalisation for youths on an upswing in Oman, there is need for people of all age groups to be cautious, health experts say.
At the beginning of the outbreak of the pandemic, the focus was on older people, especially those living with major health problems, but with time and new studies, it is being witnessed that a large number of people in lower age groups also need hospitalisation.
In Oman, a majority of patients in the Intensive Care Units (ICU) due to COVID-19 currently are youths. “Youths are at risk too, as data shows. Earlier we thought that the elderly were more vulnerable to the disease but now the data is changing and youths are equally vulnerable,” H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, said.
All people – young and old – need to continuously follow the precautionary measures, he said. “The biggest reason for the increase of positive cases to 27,000 in just one month is due to some people not complying with the health procedures. If preventive measures are not taken seriously, there would be serious consequences at both, human and economical, levels,” H E Dr Sa’eedi said.
Underlying health conditions can also make younger people susceptible to a severe case of infection, and as a matter of fact, in Oman, a majority of patients who are in ICUs are youths, according to Dr Huda al Khalili, Consultant – Critical Care Unit – Focal Point COVID-19 ICU at The Royal Hospital.
“We have had more than 150 cases in ICU in The Royal Hospital since the first patient was admitted on March 10, and currently, the majority of COVID-19 patients in the ICU are youths,” Dr Huda said.
She said that treatment in the ICU is to support the body’s functions and provide the organs to function properly. “All the treatments offered since the beginning are experimental. They are adopted to mitigate the death toll that may result from this pandemic,” Dr Huda said.
Out of the 163 COVID-19 related deaths in Oman till Monday, 93 casualties were reported in the age group of less than 60 years.
Thirty three deaths have been reported in the age group 40-49 years, while 31 deaths were recorded in the age group 50-59. In the 30-39 years age group, 24 COVID-19 related casualties have been recorded, while five 5 people in the age group 20-29 have lost their lives. The rest were over 60 years old.