The latest research on coronavirus conducted by the scientists at the International Institute for Population Studies in Mumbai has suggested that the pandemic has led to reducing life expectancy by at least two years in India. The life expectancy at birth for men and women has declined from 69.5 years and 72 years in 2019 to 67.5 years and 69.8 respectively in 2020.
Life expectancy at birth is defined as the average number of years that a newborn could expect to live if he or she were to pass through life subject to the age-specific mortality rates of a given period. In 2020, the 35-79 age group saw an increased number of deaths caused by COVID-19 compared to normal years and it is this group that has contributed immensely to drop, as per IIPS Assistant Professor, Suryakant Yadav.
The study found that the COVID deaths among men in the age group 35-69 were the highest. 4..5 lakh people have died due to coronavirus since March 2020, according to data by the Union health ministry. However, data experts suggest that millions of people have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
The research by the IIPS is based on the data collected by 145 nations Global Burden of Disease study. “The COVID impact has wiped out the progress we made in the last decade to increase the life expectancy figure. India’s life expectancy at birth now is the same as it was in 2010. It will take us years to catch up,” read a statement by a report.
Dr KS James, IIPS director, also says that epidemics in the past have impacted life expectancy at birth figures but it recouped in a few years.