Elderly are more vulnerable to covid-19 and according to a survey in United States, almost 30 percent of those who die due to the pestilence are more than 55 years old. Asking the elderly to self-isolate is one of the most effective COVID-19 prevention strategies. It is perhaps the reason why government time and again, through various advisories, has asked the elderly people to avoid crowded places as well visiting the religious places. However, it is not just the direct effects of the covid-19 that increases mortality and morbidity among them.
Travel restrictions and social distancing measures have a bad effect on their lives including access to healthcare.
Covid-19 has meant that older people keep missing out on treatment as Medical check-ups have become infrequent. All this is likely to show up in the mortality and morbidity rates among them.
The low literacy rate among this segment further limits their access to important information as well as technology. Isolation could be a way forward against the covid-19 but its implications are manifold including mental ill-health problems amongst the aged.
There are many Healthcare schemes like the Ayushman Bharat Yojana which can be tweaked to incorporate special provisions for the elderly. Tele-health and mobile home-based health care check-ups should be offered and ensured to them to tide over these difficult times. Such measures are essential to the right of a dignified life.
The virus has also rendered children who are out of school for many months now vulnerable especially those who belong to the families who are economically impoverished. Economic distress contributes to malnutrition and further hampers children’s health and growth parameters. Such children are also more prone to being pushed into child labour to supplement the family income. Children are cheap labour and the present situation remains ideal conditions for exploitative employers. In these fraught times, children are much more vulnerable. Apart from economics, children are, also, often caught in situations of domestic violence, which is rising at this time. In the present scenario, the government needs to figure out more proactive ways to save children as well as the elderly from the dangers that the covid-19 has heightened. There has to be more focus on medical resources and protection of these sections to make sure that their safety, health and nutritional well-being are not overlooked.