Marked decline in COVID-19 deaths in State during Oct.
This is being attributed to high testing, early detection, and early treatment; massive tests carried out between September 1 and October 27
As the number of daily new positive cases and Test Positivity Rate (TPR) witnessed a marked dip in the State, a perceptible decline has also been noticed in the number of COVID-19 deaths during October in comparison to August and September.
While 3,388 and 3,162 people died of COVID-19 during August and September, respectively, the number had come down substantially during October. Till October 27, the total number of deaths during the month in the State was 2,127.
“We are almost towards the end of October and the number of deaths due to COVID-19 suggests that they are a good one-third less than the numbers recorded during the preceding months of August and September,” said Mysore Sanjeev, convener of Jeevan Raksha, an initiative by Proxima, a management consulting firm, with technical support and guidance of Public Health Foundation of India, which is studying COVID-19 trends in the country.
The steep decline in rate of mortality, however, had been preceded by weeks of increased testing and high case load, he pointed out. The period between September 1 and October 27 witnessed Karnataka carrying out a massive 46,18,387 tests or about 61% of its total 75,14,194 tests.
This also led to the State adding 57.5% of its total positive cases which went up by 4,67,215 from 3,42,423 cases on August 31 to 8,09,638 cases on October 27.
The number of deaths due to COVID-19 in Karnataka, which stood at 2,314 on July 31, went up to 10,991 on October 27. Out of the 8,677 deaths since August 1, August and September accounted for 3,388 and 3,162 deaths, respectively, while the October (till 27) saw 2,083 deaths.
Mr. Sanjeev said the substantial decline in number of deaths can be attributed to high testing, early detection, and early treatment. “This seems to be the result of ramping up testing from average 41,000 tests per day in September to 76,000 per day in October. This also reflects the improved quality of containment management,” he said.
However, he cautioned against allowing the Moving Growth Rate (MGR) of testing to drop. Instead, it should propel the testing in November to at least an average 1.5 lakh tests per day, he suggested.
“This will enable the State to identify the infected patients when the spread of virus is still mild, which will result in further reduction in monthly average number of deaths in coming months,” he said.
The decline in mortality in the State comes as the number of daily new COVID-19 cases in India falls from a high of 97,860 on September 16 to 36,838 on October 26 while in Karnataka, which was recording about 10,000 to 11,000 cases per day earlier this month, reported only 3,691 on October 27.
Munish Moudgil, who heads the State COVID-19 War Room, said that the number of new COVID-19 cases in Karnataka had come down due to high testing. He attributed the reduction in daily new cases and rate of positivity to be a natural consequence of high daily testing.
High daily testing, particularly RT-PCR testing, holds the key to identify, control and reduce COVID-19, he said in a statement while contending that the approach towards high daily testing should continue even when the daily new cases and the rate of positivity fall to prevent a second wave.