India’s count of coronavirus disease patients rose above 1.5 million on Wednesday while the case fatality rate among Covid-19 patients has fallen to 2.23 per cent, the lowest since April.
The Union health ministry said effective clinical management has led to a decrease in the case fatality rate from 3.3 per cent on June 19 to 2.75 on July 9 to 2.23 on July 29, the lowest since April 1.
Health authorities recorded 48,513 new Covid-19 cases overnight, raising the country’s total lab-confirmed cases to 1,531,669. About a third (509,447) are still under medical supervision, while 988,209 patients have recovered and 34,193 have died.
The ministry said “coordinated implementation of test-track-treat strategy by the Union and state governments has effectively ensured that the case fatality rate is maintained at a low level when compared to the global scenario, and it has been progressively falling.”
Ten states account for over 83 per cent of patients under medical supervision — Maharashtra (144,998 patients), Karnataka (64,442), Tamil Nadu (57,073), Andhra Pradesh (56,527), Uttar Pradesh (27,900), Bengal (19,493), Bihar (14,718), Telangana (13,753), Gujarat (13,198), and Delhi (10,887).
The ministry has said “the successful implementation of containment, testing and standardised clinical management protocols in tandem resulted in a consistent trend of more than 30,000 recoveries per day for a sixth consecutive day.”
Over 35,000 patients were discharged across the country over the past 24 hours, the ministry said, adding that the recovery rate has now increased to 64.5 per cent.
Medical experts have earlier pointed out that the actual recovery rate is much higher — greater than 97 per cent because the case fatality rate is less than 3 per cent.
Public health experts said the decline in the case fatality rate — the proportion of mortality among the lab-confirmed cases — could be the result of multiple factors, including expanded testing criteria and an increased number of people found positive.
“Early diagnosis, effective triage and increased capacity of health systems to cope with incoming patients, quick detection of oxygen requirement and initiation of oxygen support — all of these could have contributed to the fall in case fatality rates,” said Oommen John, a researcher at The George Institute for Global Health, New Delhi.
“The denominator, or the number of people testing positive has steadily increased, and this will of course also contribute to lowering case fatality rate,” he said. “An analysis of age-stratified death rates will be a clue to really infer the factors that have contributed to this fall in the case fatality rate. But we don’t have systematic age-stratified data yet.”