At least 10 districts have a Covid-19 case fatality rate of over 3 per cent, higher than the state average which stands at 2.63 per cent. Eight other districts have a fatality rate lower than 2 per cent and 17 range between 2-3 per cent.
Mumbai, Beed, Sangli, Satara, Ratnagiri, Kolhapur, Solapur, Osmanabad, Akola and Parbhani have death rates ranging between 3.10 and 3.92 per cent, with Mumbai reporting the highest death rate amongst all districts so far.
Until Monday, Mumbai recorded 2.70 lakh cases and 10,585 deaths.
“Mumbai was amongst the first to be hit in India. It took time to build infrastructure. Also lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension are more common in Mumbai than rural areas,” said BMC additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani.
In Mumbai, the severity of cases was higher, and people came to hospital in an advanced stage, said Dr Subhash Salunkhe, technical advisor to the state government on Covid-19. He added that 20-25 per cent patients continue to die within 48 hours of admission. “That could be because they come late for treatment or referral is slow,” he said.
Other high-case burden districts like Thane, Pune, Nashik, and Nagpur have over a lakh Covid-19 cases, but the death rate is surprisingly lower than 3 per cent. Pune with 3.42 lakh cases has reported 7,165 deaths and 2.09 fatality rate, much lower than the state average. Thane too with 2.31 lakh cases has 5,394 deaths and 2.33 percent fatality rate.
Gadchiroli has the lowest death rate at 0.79 per cent in Maharashtra. Salunkhe said Gadchiroli has a sparse population that may have contributed to cutting down the viral chain. Till Monday the tribal district had only 6,471 Covid-19 cases and 51 deaths. “But in districts with a low number of intensivists and specialists it must be inquired why the death rate is so low,” Salunkhe said.
Before Diwali, in a meeting between the health minister and senior health officials, the idea to have a death audit committee in each hospital was also floated to assess each death, identify gaps in treatment and improve protocol.
Several districts stopped testing bodies for Covid-19 infection June and July onwards when cases started to spike in rural regions and ICMR changed its testing protocol. The change in policy may have also contributed in keeping certain Covid-19 deaths in rural districts out of radar.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines