The case fatality rate (CFR), that is, the number of deaths per 100 positive cases, for Bengaluru has dropped from 1.5% in the first week of September to 1.2% as on Sunday. Although the fatality rate since the beginning is more than 1%, in an encouraging sign, CFR for the past 15 days is at 0.8%. Karnataka’s CFR for the past eight months is at 1.4% and at 0.9% over the past two weeks.
Experts and the administration see it as a positive sign in the fight against Covid. “We want to bring down the overall CFR below 1% and the case positivity rate (positive cases per 100 tests) below 5%,” Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike commissioner N Manjunath Prasad told ET.
He said the city municipal body’s strategy is to increase tests. “Expanding tests will identify more cases, facilitate quick isolation and treatment. Early detection and early treatment can bring down the mortality rate. Our entire focus is on reducing deaths,” he said.
Bengaluru has reported 3,04,005 Covid cases and 3,500 deaths as on Saturday. The capital accounts for 40% of the state’s total caseload and 33% of Karnataka’s fatalities.
Data show that Bengaluru is doing well in terms of controlling deaths compared to several other districts like Dharwad (2.7%), Dakshina Kannada (2.2%) and Mysuru (2.1%). The death rate in Koppal (2.7%) and Kolar (2.5%) has been on the rise in the past two weeks. The 15 days average of the death rate is above 1% in 18 districts. Health experts have attributed this to delayed reporting/diagnosis especially among comorbid patients.
Dr Anoop Amarnath, member of Karnataka’s Covid critical care support system, said the multi-dimensional approach towards identifying and treating patients has yielded good results in Bengaluru. “Even if the senior citizens or those with comorbidities are asymptomatic, they are treated as moderate Covid category. So early hospitalisation and initiation of treatment has helped in preventing deaths,” he said.
He also attributed the falling death rate to the awareness among people. “When cases began to spread in Bengaluru, there was a sense of stigma about Covid that prevented many people from approaching doctors or going for the test. Now we see a shift where people go for early evaluation,” Amarnath, who is also chairman-geriatric medicine at Manipal Hospitals, said.