Govt aiming to bring fatality rate under 1%: Niti member

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Govt aiming to bring fatality rate under 1%: Niti member

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5

With Covid-19 cases climbing to 6,73,165 today, witnessing another record daily peak of 24,850 new infections and 19,268 total deaths, the government has set a goal of bringing the case fatality rate below one per cent as against the current 2.8 per cent.

VK Paul, Member, Health, Niti Aayog, today urged patients to seek immediate hospitalisation at the slightest sign of breathing difficulty and said lowering the case fatality rate was the single most important goal of the national effort against the virus.

In an interview to The Tribune, Paul said nearly 50 per cent of all deaths among Covid-19 patients had occurred within two days of hospitalisation and people must not shy away from testing or seeking early medical care. Delay could be dangerous, he said. “A quarter of deaths have occurred on the first day of hospitalisation; half of all deaths have happened by two days of hospitalisation and about 60 per cent deaths within 72 hours of hospitalisation. The first 24 to 48 hours are extremely critical. Covid patients must get hospitalised at the slightest sign of breathing difficulty and if oxygen saturation levels drop below 94 per cent,” said Paul, Chairman, Empowered Group handling India’s Covid management. Noting that India's case fatality rate of 2.8 per cent was half the world had seen, Paul said the national goal now was to bring it below one per cent.

“There is no reason why we should not strive for a case fatality rate of less than 1 per cent. We have urged the medical fraternity to lower the mortality rate to less than 1 per cent. States such as Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Haryana have kept case fatality rate under 1.60 pc, while Kerala among others have shown it can be brought below 1 per cent,” said Paul.

Fourteen states and UTs — Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu — of today have case fatality rate of less than one per cent.

States/UTs with fatality rate between 1 per cent and 2 per cent are Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, JK, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttarakhand.

Those with top death burden and case fatality rate of over 2 per cent are Gujarat, Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rrajasthan, West Bengal and UP.

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