With 1,118,043 COVID-19 cases, India is now the third-worst affected country in the world, followed by the US (3,834,208 cases) and Brazil (2,099,896 cases). However, in terms of case fatality rate (CFR), India has fared well. According to Union health ministry data, with 26,816 deaths as on July 18, India’s CFR was 2.49 per cent, 1.78 percentage points lower than the global average. The United States has CFR of 3.88 per cent while Brazil has 3.81 per cent—the only two countries have a higher caseload than India, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). The US has reported over 142,601 deaths and Brazil has seen 79,533 fatalities due to coronavirus as of July 20—way more than coronavirus-linked deaths in India.
As many as 29 states and Union Territories (UTs) have reported a CFR lower than the national average. In fact, 14 states have CFR below one per cent. The health ministry attributed the drop in CFR to quickness in admitting patients showing COVID-19 symptoms to hospitals.
Telangana (0.93), Andhra Pradesh (1.31), Tamil Nadu (1.75), Karnataka (2.06) and Uttar Pradesh (2.36) are among the 29 states/UTs with CFR below the national average. According to officials, continuous refinement of the clinical management protocol issued by the Centre to states is among the reasons for the decline in CRF in these states.
“The lower national CFR is definitely a silver lining,” said a senior government official as reported by The Indian Express. “It only shows we have to ensure that the maximum number of fatalities don’t occur during the 24-72 hour period (when the patient begins to show symptoms),” he added.
However, the sources in the government monitoring the pandemic said some of the deaths in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat, which have a CFR higher than the national average, were possibly “avoidable”, according to an Indian Express report.
As of Sunday, Maharashtra has reported a CFR of 3.85 per cent, Gujarat has reported 4.48 per cent and West Bengal 2.67 per cent—much higher CFR than the national average, according to health ministry data. The government is closing monitoring situation in these states. Even Assam, Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are under watch as these states have been reporting higher coronavirus cases for the past few weeks.