New Delhi: As reports of bodies piling up at crematoriums and shortage of hospital beds emerge, a close look at numbers from several states shows that the death rates in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh are rising.
This means that the increase in daily Covid-19 deaths in these states is not only because more people are getting infected. Rather, for every hundred people infected in these states, a greater number of people have succumbed to the virus.
According to data on the health ministry website, the case fatality rate for India — number of deaths for every hundred infections — has gone down to 1.22 per cent. In the beginning of June last year, the CFR was over 2.8 per cent.
The decline has been particularly rapid over the last several weeks. CFR is calculated by dividing the number of deaths by the total number of confirmed cases and then multiplying the result by 100.
However, since active cases have increased significantly over the past several days, the true estimate of CFR may not be entirely accurate.
ThePrint looked at what happens to the CFR trend if the active cases are taken out of this equation. For this purpose, adjusted CFR is calculated by dividing the number of deaths by the number of closed cases, i.e. patients who have either recovered or died, and multiplied by 100.
India’s adjusted CFR
For India, the adjusted CFR is continuing to decline. Although, currently it is 1.37 — over 12 per cent higher than the CFR reported by the health ministry at present.
States with adjusted CFR increasing
In Gujarat, while the absolute CFR numbers are declining, a look at the adjusted CFR shows that in the past 10 days, the death rate has increased.
From 1.49 per cent on 7 April, the adjusted CFR went up to 1.53 Thursday. Small changes in CFR can translate to a higher number of deaths in the coming days. As of Friday, the state reported 8,152 new Covid-19 cases.
Uttar Pradesh has been witnessing small but steady increase in the adjusted mortality rates since the beginning of March. The adjusted CFR increased from 1.45 on 30 March to nearly 1.49 Friday.
While the net change is small, the state is currently reporting over 22,000 new Covid cases everyday. At this rate we may see daily deaths in the state nearly triple in the coming days.
Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur saw a shortage of hearse vans as the state reported over 100 daily deaths in the past several days. The adjusted CFR in the state has been rising since February this year. From 1.28, the adjusted CFR in the state has increased to 1.44, declining to 1.43 Friday.
The increase in fatality rate, combined with the rise in cases means that the number of reported deaths went from under 5 to over 100 in a span of two and a half months.
For Bihar, the adjusted CFR has been increasing since September. However, the overall death rate in the state remains much lower than most other states.
Despite the death rate continuously rising for seven months, the adjusted CFR in the state is just 0.61.
In Jharkhand too, death rate began to rise since the beginning of this month. Although the adjusted CFR is currently just over 1 per cent, in the coming days this could translate to over 20 per cent increase in daily deaths.
States with highest daily deaths
Maharashtra and Delhi are currently reporting the highest number of daily deaths in the country.
Despite this, their respective adjusted CFRs continue to decline.
For Delhi, the adjusted CFR is 1.59. However, with over 16,600 new cases reported daily, this death rate could translate to over 260 daily deaths in the coming days.
In Maharashtra, the adjusted CFR declined to 1.95 Friday from 2.5 in the beginning of March, but it is still among the highest CFRs in the country. Combined with the fact that the state is reporting the highest number of daily cases — 61,695 as of Friday — the number of deaths in the state are likely to remain the highest in the country.
In India, 1,74,308 people have died of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1,185 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.