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Increasing fatality rates amidst reduced fresh cases cause of worry in TN

- June 18, 2021

Chennai, June 18(BPNS)

Even as the Covid -19 fresh cases and active cases are on the downslide in Tamil Nadu, the Case Fatality Rate(CFR) is on the rise in the state creating a major cause of worry for the state public health officials.

While Chennai’s fresh cases came down from 6247 to 689 and active cases from 45000 to 6500 from May 16 to June 16, the CFR went up from 1.3% on May 16 to 1.5% of June 16. The Tamil Nadu state CFR touched 1.27% on June 16 while it was 1.1 on May 16.

Internationally renowned virologist Dr. Jacob T John who was with Christian Medical College, Vellore while speaking to BPNS said, “ Death rates are the last to come down as most deaths are a reflection of cases that tested positive a fortnight or a week before.”

A senior official of the State Public Health Department said that the deaths might be under-reported during the time of peaking of the Covid -19 cases and after the number of cases have come down, actual reporting would have taken place thus bringing the CFR high.

He said,” Generally, deaths follow a pattern of two weeks after the cases are detected and this is the reason for the difference in reduced case rates while increased fatality rates.”

The official who does not want to be named said, “ If we take an example, the highest number of fresh cases reported in Chennai was on May 12(7564), but the highest number of Covid deaths on a single day in the city was on May 21(109) and the second highest peak of deaths was on May 28(107)”

Senior Virologist, Dr. Suchithra Menon said that the CFR will come down in two weeks time as the number of active cases and fresh cases have steadily declined since the past two to four weeks.

In Chennai, Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar has the highest CFR at 1.98%, followed by Teynampet at 1.83% while the lowest in Chennai city is at Shollinaganallur zone, 0.77%, and Manali at 0.96%.

In Tamil Nadu state as a whole the CFR was 0.86% between May 6 and May 12 when the number of fresh Covid -19 cases was at its peak. However, when the number of fresh and active cases begins to drop from May 20 to May 26, the CFR touched 1.25% and presently the CFR is 2.2%.

Even as the Public Health officials are putting a brave face on the outside, the administration is studying all aspects regarding the higher fatality rates and top health officials including Tamil Nadu minister for Medical and Family Welfare, Ma Subramanian had held a series of meetings with top virologists and other experts regarding the increased CFR.