Overall Covid Fatality Rate of Maharashtra has increased to 0.46 per cent in February compared to 0.12 per cent which is in January this year, reveals the death analysis report provided by the State Covid-19 Death Audit Committee. Similarly the CFR in Mumbai also increased to 0.41 percent in February compared to 0.10 per cent in January. Experts attributed this surge to the drop in the covid-19 cases across Maharashtra due to which CFR has increased marginally. Officials have attributed this marginal rise to the drop in covid cases across the state and control in spreading of virus.
“We have been doing good in controlling covid cases and deaths across Maharashtra resulting in a test positivity rate has come down drastically. But if we look at the CFR there has been marginal rise as there has been a steep drop in covid cases in February compared to January. However this marginal rise doesn’t make much difference as citizens are now much aware of the current status of covid and are getting vaccinated,” said Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner.
As per the data, 1,290 people succumbed to covid-19 against 10,38,810 cases being reported in January across Maharashtra compared to 1,44,596 cases recorded in February, of which 667 people died to the deadly SARS-CoV-3 virus.
Dr Avinash Supe, who heads the Covid death audit committee, said there is no doubt fatalities were much higher in the first wave as the virus was totally new and understanding the new treatment took a time and every day there was something evolving. But in the second wave the mutation of covid led to deaths and Delta variant caused severe disease along with oxygen, medicine and bed shortage.
“We have been working towards controlling covid cases and deaths in all three waves and we achieved our target and covid fatality rate have come down dramatically. After the first wave we started to analyse covid deaths on a weekly and monthly basis which helped us to come up with new strategies and treatment in curbing deaths. Now there might be a marginal rise in overall CFR in February but the number of deaths being reported on a daily basis have come down to single digits in the state,” he said.
However there has been controlling the covid cases and deaths during the third wave. Moreover most of the deaths occurred in the age group of 71-80 years as all of them had comorbidities which includes cardiac, septicaemia and others. As per data received from the state, CFR for above 60 in January-February was 7.70 (179169 and 1381) while in 2020 it was 8.75 (349829 and 30612) and in 2021 it was 5.70 (788313 and 44943).
Senior citizens remained the most vulnerable. The 61-70 age group was hit the hardest, contributing 27-30% of deaths in all the three waves. Interestingly, the mortality rate was relatively lower in the super senior citizen age bracket; 20% deaths were from the 71-80 age group. The CFR for octogenarians was around 7% while that of nonagenarians was less than 1%. The super elders probably ventured out occasionally and so mortality or infections was less.
Dr Mala Kaneria, Consultant Infectious Diseases, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre said in this
Omicron driven third wave, increased deaths have been observed among the elderly, some of whom have been fully vaccinated. One of the reasons for this is the presence of associated comorbidities in the elderly, along with their advanced age which leads to a poor outcome. “Secondly, the elderly do not mount a robust immune response to even two doses of the vaccine, due to a physiological decline in the function of the immune system with age and besides, whatever neutralizing antibodies they do manage to develop with vaccination, wane over time, rendering them susceptible to a poor outcome,” she said.