In India, 69 districts have case fatality rate double than that of national average: Govt

Although the case fatality rate (CFR) has marginally dipped to 2.90% of the total number of Covid-19 cases since May 18, when the government eased lockdown norms, 69 districts in the country have CFR of 5% or more, which Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba termed as an issue of concern at a meeting with states on Wednesday, government officials said.

Gauba gave a detailed presentation on the overall Covid-19 status in India as on June 9 and the challenges that have emerged since the government eased lockdown restrictions, amid state governments re-imposing lockdown curbs to control the spread of coronavirus in some states such as Rajasthan, Mizoram and Uttar Pradesh.

“The case fatality rate has remained flat at 2.90% as compared to 2.96% on May 18,” the Cabinet Secretary said, indicating that there was not much reason to worry as India’s case fatality rate was lower than several western countries.

The number of Covid-19 cases increased from 1,00,800 on May 18 to 2,87,155 on June 10 and the number of deaths jumped from 3,156 to 8,108 in this period.

On the state specific Covid-19 data, Gauba said that 82% of all the deaths have been reported from five states — Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh — which also have high Covid-19 case load, though most of the deaths have occurred because of co-morbid reasons.

The Cabinet Secretary also highlighted that 69 districts in the country reported more than 5% of the case fatality rate, terming it an “issue of concern.” Of them, the presentation said, the highest number of districts were in Madhya Pradesh (21), followed by Uttar Pradesh (11), Gujarat (9), Rajasthan (5) and Telangana (3). Shahdara and North-East districts in Delhi, Jind in Haryana, Kapurthala in Punjab and Bastar in Chhattisgarh with high CFR.

On the total number of cases, the Cabinet Secretary said the five states that accounted for 82% of the deaths, also reported the highest rate of increase in Covid-19 cases between May 18 and June 9, resulting in the total cases in India increasing by almost 170% during this period. These states also had more than 70% of the cases in the country, the presentation said.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences Director, Randeep Guleria, said India’s Covid Fatality Rate was much lower than the WHO’s prescribed limit of 3% to 3.5%. “In the districts or states having high mortality rate, the local administrations need to focus on surveillance of elderly patients with other diseases. Detailed guidelines on the same have been circulated with the state governments,” he said.

Among 736 districts in the country, the presentation said, 14 districts accounted for 60% of the total Covid-19 cases in the country. Half of the districts were in the National Capital Region (NCR), including five districts of Delhi, Gurugram and Gautam Budh Nagar. Other districts were Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Thane, Chengalpattu, Ahmedabad and Kolkata, the presentation said.

Some of these districts have also seen the fastest increase in Covid-19 cases since easing of restrictions on May 18, the presentation said. “These are the districts which have more than 400 cases, of which 50% of the cases have been reported after May 18. These districts are concentrated in 7 states – Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana,” the presentation said. It also pointed out that Gurugram, Udupi, Yadgir and Kolhapur have reported 90% of the 400 plus cases since May 18.

On the basis of district-wise analysis of the rate of increase of Covid-19 cases, the health ministry has identified 50 districts that may face shortage of hospital beds by the first week of July. Of them, the presentation said 17 districts have high probability of witnessing shortage of hospital beds. These districts are Mumbai, Thane, Palgar, Jalgaon and Raigarh in Maharashtra, Udupi, Raichur and Yadgir in Karnataka, Kulgam and Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir, Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Gautam Budh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh and Chennai, Chengalpattu, Thiruvallur and Turicorin in Tamil Nadu, the presentation said.

On the Covid-19 confirmation rate (positives for total Covid-19 tests done), the presentation said three states — Maharashtra, Delhi and Telangana — has confirmation rate of more than 10% as compared to 5.70% national rate, which has increased by almost one percentage point since May 18. “The increase in confirmation rate (between May 18 and June 9) indicates at either increase in spread of coronavirus or lower testing during this period,” the presentation said. On the district-wise analysis, the presentation said that 46 districts in 13 states have a confirmation rate of more than 10% with the highest number of districts (12) in Maharashtra followed by nine in Delhi.

The presentation also pointed out that there was a huge turnaround time for getting test results in several districts, especially in the rural areas. HT had reported that Jharkhand and Bihar were taking up to 14 days to provide results of the tests taken at the quarantine centers. “The delay is because of the sudden increase in the swabs being taken,” said Jharkhand health secretary Nitin Kulkarni. Bihar health secretary Lokesh Kumar Singh said the pendency of the tests results is reducing as swabs of most of the symptomatic persons in quarantine centers have been taken.

On the positive side, the Cabinet Secretary said that the doubling rate has increased to 16.9 days from earlier 14.1 days and the national fatality rate was still below 3%. He also said that the spread of Covid-19 cases to newer districts was not very high and the situation there was under control. Gauba said that several districts have reported slowing down of Covid-19 cases, which indicated that the lockdown had a positive impact.

Source : Hindustan Times

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