Mumbai: Health experts, task force worried over rise in Covid deaths in state

The health and state task-force members have raised concerns over the increasing number of coronavirus deaths across the state despite the Covid fatality rate in the state and city is below 2 per cent.

According to the data, 4,225 Covid fatalities were reported in the first 15 days of April in the state as compared to 2,465 which was reported in March, which means Covid fatalities have almost doubled now. Similarly, Mumbai has reported 503 deaths in the past 15 days as compared to 212 deaths in March.

Officials said the deaths will increase and based on a study conducted by TIFR mortalities will peak in May but it won’t impact the overall fatality rate. Moreover, the citizens need to consult the doctors immediately if they show any symptoms or their oxygen level is dropped.

Suresh Kakani, an additional municipal commissioner, said the increase in the number of deaths is a matter of concern, even though the CFR is stable. The study is showing most deaths are in senior citizens, or citizens with severe comorbidities.

“In such cases, the most important aspect is to not waste a lot of time and take the beds allotted by the civic body. Delay can cause complications in symptoms,” he said.

Dr Rahul Pandit, a member of the state-appointed task force to mitigate Covid-19, said the Covid deaths will increase further but the overall Covid fatality rate this year since January is below 1 per cent which is a good sign.

“We need to see that CFR doesn’t increase for which each patient with severe symptoms needs to monitor closely so that the CFR will be under control,” he said.

He further said “It can be said that cases in Mumbai are peaking right now. However, in Mumbai, last year we saw that the numbers remained high for some time and we are expecting a similar trend this year. So, cases will continue to remain high for the next couple of weeks before starting to drop.”

Dr Lancelot Pinto, Consultant Pulmonologist, PD Hinduja Hospital & MRC said mortality typically lags behind infections by 2-3 weeks, as typically those who deteriorate do so in the second week of illness, and a proportion of such individuals deteriorate and pass away from the disease over the next 1-2 weeks after the deterioration begins.

“Modelers have predicted that we could be close to the peak of infections right now, which would suggest that unfortunately, the peak of deaths is yet to come, and is likely to be in May,” he said.

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