Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 5 July 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: two-thirds of Lebanon’s infected are under 49-years-old

Age group data is scarce in the rest of the Middle East

Lebanese intelligence officers in Hamra district of Beirut, March 24, 2020. AP
Lebanese intelligence officers in Hamra district of Beirut, March 24, 2020. AP

Young populations dominate the demography of the Arab Middle East but public data is scarce on how they are being affected by the coronavirus.

Available figures in Lebanon show that a high proportion of those infected are young people, while officials in Jordan and Tunisia offered broad indications of age in relation to the pandemic.

A report by Lebanon’s Disaster Risk Management Unit said 27 per cent of the 304 cases recorded in the country as of Tuesday were 29 years old or younger. Another 35 per cent of the cases were between 30 and 49 years old.

Those over 60 years old comprise one-quarter of the total cases in Lebanon, the report said.

A spokesman for the National Epidemics Committee in Jordan told local media this week that the 153 recorded cases in the country are aged between 40 to 65 years old.

A health official in Tunisia, said the age group for less than 100 recorded cases in the country is between three months to 83 years. The number of cases has since risen to 173, the health minister said in a televised statement on Wednesday.

Across the Middle East there has been no available data about the age breakdown of the people hospitalised because of the virus.

Buzzfeed quoted officials in New York City saying on Friday that one quarter of 1,160 patients hospitalised with coronavirus symptoms were aged between ages 18 and 49.

The Centre for Disease Control said across the United States around 38 per cent of coronavirus patients who were taken to hospital were between 20 to 54 years old.

A paper published by the Imperial College in London in mid-March, based on global data, found less than five per cent of people under 50 years old infected by the coronavirus needed hospitalisation. Twenty-four per cent of those aged 70 to 79 years needed hospitalisation.

The World Health Organisation said this month that parents should not take for granted that children are less likely to feel the effects of the coronavirus.

WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove said infected children can also experience “severe” conditions.

Updated: March 25, 2020 08:12 PM

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