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Marked difference between June and July: Fewer Covid-19 patients dying soon after admission

A detailed analysis of deaths by the Health department shows a 44% decline in deaths in the national capital between early June and early July. While 1,089 people died between June 1 and 12, this number dropped to 605 between July 1 and 12.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | July 27, 2020 3:19:48 am
Marked difference between June and July: Fewer Covid-19 patients dying soon after admission Swab samples being taken for Covid testing at the Swami Parmanand Prakritik Chikitsa Kendra. (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha)

Of those who died after contracting Covid-19 between June 1 and June 12, 67% arrived in hospitals in a critical condition and died within four days of admission. And, according to data shared by the Delhi government, 34% died within 24 hours of admission.

A month on, between July 1 and 12, the percentage of people dying within four days of admission dipped to 37%, and of those dying within 24 hours to 15%.

Earlier this month, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had sought a report on Covid-19 deaths in the city. While the first report focussed patients prescribed home isolation, the health department was then told to analyse other parameters as well.

A detailed analysis of deaths by the Health department shows a 44% decline in deaths in the national capital between early June and early July. While 1,089 people died between June 1 and 12, this number dropped to 605 between July 1 and 12.

The Delhi government also said that deaths in Delhi government Covid hospitals saw a 58% reduction between early June and July — from 361 deaths to 154 deaths. “In comparison, deaths in private Covid hospitals saw a 25% reduction from June to July, and deaths in Central government Covid hospitals saw a 55% reduction,” a statement issued by the government said.

The highest death rate (calculated as the number of deaths versus the total number of admissions) was seen at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The fatality rate stood at 81% in the first 12 days of June but dipped to 58% in the first 12 days of July, the Delhi government said.

Smriti Tiwari, the hospital’s spokesperson, said: “The hospital has been the nodal centre ever since the pandemic started in India. Earlier, all patients were brought to the hospital in a very critical condition. Many of them died within minutes of reaching. At the time, many hospitals were refusing treatment and sent patients to RML hospital.”

At Safdarjung Hospital, the report says, the percentage death rate dropped from 40% in June to 31% in July. At Lok Nayak Hospital, Delhi’s biggest Covid-only facility with 2,000 beds, the percentage death rate dropped from 28% in early June to 16% in early July. Only Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital saw a marginal increase — from 6% in early June and 7% in early July.

Kejriwal has now directed Health department officials to focus on government hospitals with the highest death rates or those having highest proportion of deaths of people placed in wards instead of ICUs, and recommend specific measures that need to be adopted.

Delhi government officials said widespread testing, from an average of 5,500 tests per day to an average of 21,000 tests per day in early July; distribution of over 59,000 oximeters to those under home isolation to check their oxygen saturation rate regularly; improved response time of ambulances and an enhanced fleet that went from 134 at the beginning of lockdown to 602 in early July; along with a focus on ICU beds in the city were the main reasons behind the improvement.

On Sunday, the city saw 1,075 new cases and 21 deaths. The total caseload is now at 1,30,606 and the death toll stands at 3,827.

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