Data showed that 29.6% of the victims were in the 60-69 age-group, while every fifth person dead was either in his/her fifties or seventies. Hypertension was the most common co-morbidity (46.7%), followed by diabetes (39.4%). Every fifth victim had both hypertension and diabetes. Only 11% of victims had a heart disease.
With the 57 deaths on Saturday taking its toll to 50,027, Maharashtra, the worst hotspot for Covid in India, accounts for a third of India’s 1.51 lakh deaths. This means that every third death in India is from Maharashtra.
Men comprise almost 70% of state’s Covid-19 fatalities so far
The state has reported more deaths than countries like Germany (40,535), Colombia (45,431) and Argentina (44,273).
The closest state in terms of deaths is Tamil Nadu with less than a fourth of Maharashtra’s toll at 12,208. Other worst affected states include Karnataka (12,134) and Delhi (10,654).
In a reflection of a global trend noticed since the pandemic broke out in Wuhan in December 2019, more men than women have died in Maharashtra. “The majority of deaths occurred among males at 69.8% (34,499), while the percentage of deaths among women is 30.2,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, who heads the epidemiology department of the state public health department.
“Maharashtra has a higher share of co-morbid patients than other states and data collection here is among the best,” said Dr Rahul Pandit, a member of the state task force on Covid-19.
Epidemiologist Dr Giridhar Babu said Maharashtra possibly has a higher percentage of elderly people who are at higher risk for Covid-19. However, he added that in most studies across the world, higher death rate among Covid patients was associated with delayed implementation of lockdown or failure to adhere to lockdown rules.
It took the state 116 days to report its first 10,000 deaths, while time taken for the second 10,000 was drastically reduced to 36 days, which was further reduced to 30 days for the third 10,000. The time taken to touch 40,000 deaths was just 25 days, but with cornoavirus cases and deaths dipping in the state and city, the time taken to add the fifth 10,000 cases increased to 90 days.
With this, the case fatality rate of the state dropped to 2.5%, but it was still higher than the national CFR of 1.5%, officials noted.
Dr Awate said that while deaths across Maharashtra were high in the initial months, the numbers have drastically declined in the last two months. “In December, the case fatality rate was around 2%,” he added.
Senior officials said one of the reasons for the high fatality rate among people with co-morbidities was also delay in admission.
“Most of the deaths also happened due to the delay in admission. The time between admission and death in most cases was merely a few days,” said one of the officials.
The official said that this led to the state launching the ‘My Family, My Responsibility’ campaign where people with comorbidities were screened and if they were showing symptoms, they were also tested.