Mumbai’s Covid case fatality rate on the decline
Despite the recent rise in the daily number of Covid-19 cases, there has been a decline in the number of deaths due to Covid-19 in Mumbai throughout August. While the daily case fatality rate (CFR) has also dropped to below 1% on several days of August, the average CFR for the city was 0.9% last month.
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic in March last year, zero deaths due to Covid-19 were reported on August 22. August saw a total of 88 deaths, in comparison to 438 in July, which had a CFR of 3.4%. August reported a total of 9,376 Covid-19 cases, compared to 12,557 in July.
June recorded 625 deaths due to Covid-19 with a CFR of 3.6%, with 16,934 cases; May reported the highest number of deaths due to Covid-19 during the second wave (since March) at 1,701, with the CFR at 2.9%. April reported 1,435 Covid-19 deaths, with a CFR of 0.6%, and March reported 211 deaths. CFR is the total number of deaths in comparison to the total number of cases.
For example, Mumbai reported 323 new cases and 1 death on August 31; 333 new cases and 2 deaths on August 30, 345 new cases and 2 deaths on August 29. On August 28, Mumbai reported 4 deaths against 391 new covid-19 cases.
Overall, during the second wave, from March to August, Mumbai reported a total of 4,498 Covid deaths and 417,348 new cases, with a CFR of 1%. This has brought down the average CFR for Mumbai since the beginning of the pandemic to 2.1%.
Experts said deaths happen in two scenarios in maximum number of cases. First, as soon as the patient arrives in the hospital, as he or she may have ignored symptoms for a longer time before seeking medical attention; the second, after the patient is being treated in a hospital for a longer duration and succumbs to the complications. Dr Rahul Pandit, who is part of the Maharashtra government task force for Covid-19, said, “Over the months during the second wave, our line of treatment has evolved, and medical professionals have understood the nature of the infection. As the number of active cases has dropped, deaths are bound to decrease.”
According to Dr Pandit, treatment protocols were set in place, such as how much oxygen is needed, when to put a patient on oxygen support, what medicines are working for what kind of complications, which has contributed to a decrease in the number of deaths.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner incharge of BMC’s public health department, said, “Through the second wave, we optimised our treatment protocols, senior doctors were attending to severe or critical patients, and Mission Save lives was being implemented strictly.” “As number of daily cases decreases, a larger number of positive patients are able to get medical care at tertiary hospitals, due to the decrease in burden on medical infrastructure,” Dr Pandit said.