COVID-19: Why deaths in Kerala continue to be high despite declining caseload

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September 24, 2021 2:16 PM

Since the start of this month, Kerala has recorded a total of 3,109 deaths. The total number of fatalities have gone over 23,000.

Among the districts, Thrissur reported the highest number of fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday--1,823, followed by Ernakulam 1,812 and Thiruvananthapuram 1,464.

Coronavirus in Kerala: Kerala had seen a worrisome spurt of growth after the much celebrated festival of Onam. However, now, the cases finally seem to decline, as the active cases have gone down by a whopping 90,000 within the last three weeks, according to a report in IE. Moreover, after a whopping seven months, the R-value of the disease has finally gone below 1 in the state. While these trends are positive, a similar trend has not been seen when it comes to the deaths due to COVID-19. The number of deaths every day continues to be in the range of 100 to 200. In fact, since the start of this month, Kerala has recorded a total of 3,109 deaths. The total number of fatalities have gone over 23,000.

As per the COVID-19 dashboard of Kerala, about 74% of the deaths have been among people aged above 60 years. Another 21% of the deaths was among the people aged between 41 and 59 years, and only 4% of the deceased belonged to the age group of 18 to 40 years age. As far as districts are concerned, Thiruvananthapuram district topped not only in terms of absolute number of deaths but also in case fatality figures.

What is more is that a huge chunk of the COVID-19 deaths, ie 80% of the deaths due to the disease in the state, has taken place in the last half a year itself. This is believed to be a direct result of the very severe second wave of the pandemic. This translates to the state seeing 19,276 deaths out of a total of 23,897, in the period between April 1 and September 20 this year, the report added.

Experts are pinning this lack of decline in deaths despite lowering number cases to be due to the gap in the pandemic, as usually, a gap of two weeks is present between the reduction in cases and that in number of deaths. Apart from this, another reason could also be that a large number of sick people could have comorbidities and might not have taken even one dose of the vaccine due to the associated hesitancy. A lot of such cases are being reported in the state, the report stated.

There are also claims that the state underreported the number of deaths that occurred in May and June this year during the peak of the second wave. Accordingly, doctors are saying that had numbers been reported accurately then, it would not seem like such a plateau. Moreover, elederly people and those with comorbidities opting to go in home isolation after testing positive is also a reason, as in case their conditions deteriorate, there can be delays in ferrying them to the hospital.

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