In some heartening news, there have been 52 per cent fewer Covid deaths in the period from November 18 to December 16 as compared to the death rate between October 19 and November 17. Remarkably, there has been a 51 per cent decline in death rates among the most vulnerable age group of 61 years and above.
The Free Press Journal has analysed the official data provided by the BMC and found that 888 persons succumbed to the infection between October 19 and November 17. However, from November 18 to December 16, this number went down to 423.
Doctors say this could be achieved only because of the rising awareness among the citizenry about the dreaded virus. They say that increased awareness has led to timely treatment of those infected, ultimately resulting in the slowing down of the death rate. The fatality rate for the city, however, continues to be higher than the national average.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said fatalities were being closely monitored. After the launching of 'Mission Save Lives', the death rate has come down, but civic authorities are doing more to bring it below 1 per cent. In the last two months, the situation has improved.
“Our main focus is to reduce the daily number of cases and deaths in the city. For the past one month, both deaths and the cases are under control, due to which both the positivity and fatality rates have been reduced to 13.26 per cent and 3.86 per cent respectively,” he said. On June 30, the BMC had embarked on 'Mission Save Lives', a nine-point programme to curb Covid deaths in the city.
As is known, people over 60 years of age are considered as the most vulnerable group of people because they may have underlying co-morbid health issues. The data shows that the death rate among this group has decreased by almost 51 per cent in the period between October 19 and November 17, with 651 succumbing to the infection. This number fell to 317 between November 18 and December 16.
Epidemiologist Dr Om Srivastava, who is part of the state's Covid-19 taskforce said it was a good sign that deaths among senior citizens had dropped by 51 per cent, indicating they were following Covid norms more seriously than younger people. “We have witnessed that the overall infections have reduced, compared to last month. Moreover, the elderly are restricting themselves from stepping out, aware that they are likely to contract infections faster than anyone else. Accordingly, they are taking all the necessary precautions,” he said.
Senior health officials said though there has been a drop in the fatality rates, if the non-reported deaths are added to the overall data, then Mumbai’s CFR would be 4 or 5 per cent. “Our weekly and daily coronavirus death rates have dropped but there is not much change in mortality. It has remained more or less the same,” according to an official.