Covid-19: Maharashtra mortality rate rises over past two weeks

In the past two weeks, the CFR rose to 2.11 and 2.22% respectively, which also resulted in the overall rise in the rate
Health workers conduct door-to-door Covid-19 screening in Mumbai on Sunday.(ANI)
Health workers conduct door-to-door Covid-19 screening in Mumbai on Sunday.(ANI)
Updated on Sep 28, 2020 12:55 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By

Maharashtra has reported a rise in the weekly Covid-19 case fatality rate (CFR) in the last two weeks. The CFR, the proportion of people who have died among the confirmed cases, had dropped to its lowest since the outbreak of the pandemic to 1.74% and 1.91% respectively in the first and second weeks of September (August 31-Sept 6 and Sept 7-13), only to see a sudden rise after that.

In the last two weeks (Sept 14-20 and Sept 21-27), the CFR rose to 2.11 and 2.22% respectively, which also resulted in the overall rise in the rate. The two weeks reported 148,334 cases and 3,140 deaths; and 130,590 cases and 2,900 deaths respectively.

Also read: India inching closer to 1% Covid-19 death rate

The first two weeks of September (August 31-Sept 6 and Sept 7-13) had reported 126,523 cases and 2,205 deaths; and 153,096 cases and 2,927 deaths respectively. The fourth week has seen the drop in the cases and the fatalities, but the death rate kept mounting, which is a cause of worry for the authorities.

According to the health department officials, they have not been able to bring down both the fatality and the positivity rate vis-a-vis the target set. “In July, we set the target of bringing the CFR below 1% and the positivity rate below 10%, but could not achieve them in three months. Positivity rate still hovers between 20 and 22%. We have now been targeting aggressive tracing through ‘My Family My Responsibility drive’ launched on September 15 and hope to see cases being brought to the facilities at early stages. This would help us in bringing the caseload as well as the CFR down,” said an official from the department requesting anonymity.

The officer also said that the hike in the number of tests and allowing inter-district movement from September 2 has resulted in the sudden spurt in the cases.

Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, former national president of Indian Medical Association, has attributed the rise in the mortality rate to faulty management of data and weak health infrastructure. “First of all, the Covid-19 is a ‘patchy pandemic’ which has no certain pattern to describe. The data maintained by the state government has many factors attached to it, leaving room to believe it to be unscientific. Many a times, the older cases and fatalities are added to it, sometimes the turnaround time of the reports take days, resulting in a sudden rise or drop in the percentage,” he said.

Dr Wankhedkar said that the overall CFR in Maharashtra is one of the highest owing to the poor healthcare system and mechanism that lags in tracing contacts. “The patients are admitted to the government facilities for Covid-19 only after their health has deteriorated. The state should now seriously focus upon bringing down the CFR,” he said.

Maharashtra has recorded 1,339,232 Covid-19 cases and 35,571 deaths till Sunday evening. The state conducted 693,408 tests over the past week (Sept 21-27) at the daily rate of 99,058 with the positivity rate of 18.83%.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Surendra P Gangan is Senior Assistant Editor with political bureau of Hindustan Times’ Mumbai Edition. He covers state politics and Maharashtra government’s administrative stories. Reports on the developments in finances, agriculture, social sectors among others.

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