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Gender Disparity and Covid-19

  • 09 Apr 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, GlobalHealth50/50 suggested that the gender-split of Covid-19 cases in all countries is roughly 50-50, barring two exceptions: India and Pakistan.

  • Men in India more than women likely to test positive for COVID-19.
  • Another unusual exception was South Korea — the country that has conducted the maximum number of tests as a proportion of population — in that more women tested positive than men.
  • GlobalHealth50/50 is an independent research initiative that tracks gender and health. It compiled data from almost 40 countries on Covid-19 cases.
  • Many countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, do not have sex-segregated national data while publicising data on cases and death rates.

Key Points

  • Data Analysis (% of men out of total cases):
    • Greece- 55%
    • Italy- 53%
    • China- almost 51%(February data).
    • India- 76%
    • Pakistan- 72%
    • Germany- 50%
    • South Korea- 40% (more women positive)
  • India has not shared national figures on Covid-19 mortality rates in men and women yet. However, on April 6, 2020, the Health Ministry said 76% of the confirmed cases in India were men.
  • Reasons:
    • Epidemiologists have highlighted that in most countries men and women equally travelled internationally.
    • Indian case is reflective of employment trends also. There are less working women and very less are likely to travel internationally for work.
    • India’s wide disparity is more likely due to sociological factors.
    • Global research on coronavirus so far has shown that men are more likely to be harbouring additional ailments like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and more likely to smoke.
      • These conditions make men even more vulnerable to the severe infection.
  • The figure seems to be a statistical reflection of relatively low testing for the disease.
    • With more testing and more infections detected, the male-female gap would likely narrow.

Source: TH

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