The highest number of COVID-19 infections is among people aged between 21 and 30 years, followed by the age groups of 11-20 years and 31-40 years respectively, according to the ministry.
As of Thursday, cases among people aged between 21 and 30 years stand at 1,792 which represent nearly 39 percent of total infections in the Himalayan country. The Nepali government on Thursday reported 4,614 total cases with 250 new cases.
Likewise, 1,195 cases were identified in the age group from 11 to 20 years and 975 cases were confirmed in the age group of 31-40 years, according to the Health Ministry.
Nepali officials and experts said the high infection rate among the youths is due to the fact that most of those infected are Nepali migrant workers returning from India.
“Youths go to India to work and the high number of infections among returnee migrant workers means high number of infections was seen among the youths,” Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson at the Ministry of Health and Population told Xinhua on Thursday.
Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said at the House of Representative, Nepal’s Lower House of parliament, on Wednesday that over 85 percent of those who have been infected with COVID-19 in Nepal are returnees from India.
Nepal faces a high number of infections due to a porous border with India, which is among the countries with the highest number of infections worldwide.
The argument is also supported by some Nepali experts on public health.
Dr. Baburam Marasini, former director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under the Department of Health Services, told Xinhua on Thursday that besides the India factor, tendency of youths to frequently go outside violating the health protocol compared to children and elderly population has also made them vulnerable to the coronavirus infection.
“High infection rate among the young working age population has also shown that the novel coronavirus infects people of every age group,” said Marasini.
But Nepal faces the risk of more community transmission of COVID-19 after the government relaxed lockdown through a cabinet decision on Wednesday, allowing most of the economic activities to resume.
“If community transmission of the coronavirus increases as a result of relaxation of lockdown, elderly people might basically be infected with the virus in the future more than now,” said Spokesperson Gautam.
Although the disease is usually more deadly for the elderly population, the infection rate among the older people in Nepal is very low. According to the ministry’s data, only a single person aged over 80 years has been infected with COVID-19, while only nine people in the age group of 71-80 years have been infected.
There are a relatively high number of infections among children aged below 10 years with 112 infections reported so far, according to the ministry.