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COVID-19 may lead to 95,000 additional TB deaths in India: Study

COVID-19 TB deaths

The COVID-19 Pandemic may lead to an additional 95,000 tuberculosis (TB) related deaths in India in the next five years, a latest study said.

The modelling study, published in the European Respiratory Journal held disrupted healthcare and delays in diagnosis and treatment due to ongoing Corona crisis as possible reasons behind the death.

The researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Lancaster University in the UK found that the COVID-19 pandemic could significantly increase the global burden of TB, a PTI report said.

Also read: COVID-19 Pandemic: Safety guide to wear face mask

It estimates at least 110,000 additional deaths from TB in India, China, and South Africa unless health services maintained and strengthened.

The researchers noted that before COVID-19 outbreak, over 4,000 people were dying from TB every day.

“There is concern that the COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in decreased TB clinic attendance, delayed diagnosis and treatment,” said study first author Finn McQuaid, Assistant Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at LSHTM.

“This is especially so in low- and middle-income countries where health services, or access to them, might be substantially disrupted,” McQuaid said.

He noted that early anecdotal information from India, China, and South Africa suggests that the number of people being diagnosed and treated for TB has fallen significantly.

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