The pace of decline in deaths has been slower than the fall in case trajectory
Covid-19 deaths in India crossed 400,000 on Thursday. At the time of going to print, the number had touched 400,264. In just over five weeks, from May 23 to July 1, the country reported 100,000 deaths from Covid even as the second wave waned. The pace of decline in deaths has been slower than the fall in case trajectory. V K Paul, member-Niti Aayog, recently said this is because many patients who caught the virus during the second wave are still in intensive care units (ICUs) even though Covid wards have emptied in most parts of the country. On Wednesday, India reported over 1,000 deaths, down from the peak of almost 4,500 deaths on May 18.
More than 60 per cent of the total Covid deaths have occurred since March 2021 during the second wave that battered the country’s healthcare infrastructure. While India has the world’s third-highest death toll resulting from the pandemic after the US and Brazil, deaths per million are around 289, which is much lower than the global average of more than 500 deaths per million.
However, with the Supreme Court of India directing that deaths due to Covid-related complications be classified as Covid deaths, the number could rise. From mucormycosis (black fungus) to cardiac arrest, many lives have been lost to post-Covid complications. Statewise, Maharashtra has the highest fatalities, followed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. Experts have also raised the issue of underreporting of deaths in many states. India, meanwhile, is aiming to vaccinate its entire adult population by the end of the year to get ahead of the virus and prevent fatalities, should there be a third wave.
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