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ICMR study: Pregnant, lactating women worse-hit in second wave than in first

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Case fatality rate among these women was higher in second wave than in first, as per the ICMR study   

New Delhi: Pregnant women and lactating mothers were the worst hit during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in India. A study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has showed that the case fatality rate among this section was significantly higher than during the first wave.

The ICMR study says, “Symptomatic cases were significantly higher at 28.7 per cent in the second wave (111/387), compared to the first wave (162/1143) when the proportion was 14.2 per cent.”

It added, “The case fatality rate (CFR) among pregnant women and postpartum women was 5.7 per cent (22/387) during the second wave, which was significantly higher compared to the scenario encountered in the first wave with CFR 0.7 per cent (8/1143).”

The study compared how women in these categories fared during the first (April 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021) and the second wave (February 1, 2021 to May 14, 2021) of the pandemic.

Symptomatic cases were significantly higher at 28.7 per cent in the second wave compared to 14.2 per cent in the first wave, as per the study.

A total of 1,530 pregnant and postpartum women were included in the study. As many as 1,143 were from the first wave and 387 from the second.

“The case fatality rate (CFR) among pregnant women and postpartum women was 5.7 per cent during the second wave, which was significantly higher compared to the scenario encountered in the first wave with CFR 0.7 per cent,” the study stated.

As per the study, there were 2 per cent maternal deaths during both the waves, majority of which were due to Covid-19 pneumonia and respiratory failure.

ICMR has underlined the importance of vaccination for pregnant and lactating women. However, the Centre is yet to allow this for lack of clinical trial data. The matter is currently being discussed by the National Techincal Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).

Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recommended vaccinating pregnant women if they have co-morbid conditions or face high risk of exposure to coronavirus.

 

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