Koppal, DK districts record low mortality in 2nd wave

Koppal, DK districts record low mortality in 2nd wave

Healthcare worker tests a person for coronavirus. Credit: DH Photo

In spite of witnessing 50 per cent surge in positive cases from March 10 to May 8, Koppal and Dakshina Kannada districts, saw abnormally low mortality rates.

The onset of second wave in India was around March 10, when Karnataka had 9.56 lakh Covid cases. Koppal saw only seven deaths (case fatality rate 0.1 per cent) and Dakshina Kannada saw 39 cases (case fatality rate 0.2 per cent) during this period.

Koppal witnessed an increase of 7,323 Covid cases and Dakshina Kannada by 18,550 cases during this period. The case fatality rate in rest of Karnataka in the second wave is 0.6 per cent. As of Wednesday across the state, the case fatality rate was 1.29 per cent.

While Koppal district health officer Dr Lingaraju T said data wasn't sent to the state health department and the number of deaths was much higher, Dakshina Kannada Covid nodal officer Dr Ashok H said case fatality rate was a function of positivity, and since the district has had a positivity rate of 30.56 per cent, case fatality rate seems low.

When DH compared the district bulletins of Koppal and the state bulletin, it found that the latter showed zero deaths on all days from March 10 to May 8 except on April 18 (2 deaths), May 2 (5 deaths). On May 11, it reported three deaths whereas on May 12, it reported 12 deaths. This totaled to 22 deaths. In contrast, in just 13 days, the district bulletins showed 94 deaths.

Koppal Deputy Commissioner Suralkar Vikas Kishor, when questioned about just seven deaths reflecting in the state bulletin for almost two months, said, "We are trying to set right the figure. We have a problem with updating data since we are not getting complete information about the death of patients. It will be set right in a day or two." However, he did not answer how the deaths reflected in the district bulletins if there was incomplete information about dead patients.

Dr Vasanth Kumar, Assistant Deputy Director from the health department who is in-charge of the daily state bulletins, said, "We get death data from the districts or from hospitals via our tele-ICU team. We can only collate whatever is sent to us." 

Dr Ashok H said, "We've seen 62 deaths so far from March 10 including five on May 13. Since the cases seen in the same period are 25,102, the case fatality rate works out to be 0.23 per cent. If the positive cases come down, then with the same number of deaths we will have a higher case fatality rate."