Eighty-nine per cent of people who succumbed to Covid-19 in Mumbai from January 1-16, 2022, were above 60 years of age, while 11 per cent were between 40 and 60 years of age, according to the statistics provided by the health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation -- 80 Covid deaths have occurred in the city, 71 of whom were senior citizens, while the remaining were aged between 40 and 60 years. Cold statistics apart, the rising fatality rate in the city is a matter of concern. Health officials have said in most of these deaths, the lower respiratory tract was involved and this needs to be studied, as most of the deceased had comorbidities.
A BMC analysis of the mortalities shows that senior citizens have remained the most vulnerable group throughout the pandemic.
Dr Avinash Supe, head of the state Covid-19 death audit committee, says since the pandemic began, most of those who died in the city had comorbidities or had delayed treatment. However, more than 80 per cent of recent deaths were of those partially or fully vaccinated.
“The upper respiratory tract is more infected in the third wave but in some cases, the lungs are not involved as the patients were immunocompromised, due to which they succumbed. We still have around 560 people in the ICU, of whom few are on invasive ventilation. Some of them have lower respiratory infection, which needs to be analysed,” he said.
Doctors said currently, the transition phase of the third wave is underway, wherein Omicron is yet to dominate over Delta and its variants. “Considering that Delta is more severe, we have to keep a close watch on patients with comorbidities, whose lungs are affected,” according to a medical expert.
“Though cases have come down, there is need to focus on Covid deaths and hospitalisations, as in the coming days, the numbers are likely to increase. Moreover, for the last two days, Covid deaths in Mumbai have been in double digits, which is a matter of concern. Advanced age and comorbid conditions are the main reasons why senior citizens have remained susceptible,” said Dr Rahul Pandit, intensive care specialist, Fortis Hospital and member of the state’s Covid-19 taskforce.
In the first wave, the case fatality rate (CFR) was 2.59 per cent, with 52,835 deaths out of 20,36,130 cases. In the second wave, Maharashtra recorded 1.78 per cent CFR with 78,383 deaths out of 44,00,237 identified cases.
Dr Kedar Toraskar, critical care specialist, Wockhardt Hospital, said though Omicron has spread, Delta and its variants continue to dominate, causing people to be admitted to ICU. In the third wave, hospitalisation is considerably lower than in the earlier two waves.
“While the majority of the cases are Omicron variants, we are still seeing some Delta variant cases, which is leading to ICU admissions. 18-19 patients in the ICU, of which only four are requiring invasive ventilation. The rest are incidental Covid-positives, wherein they had primarily come for some other treatment and incidentally turned positive,” he explained.