Tuberculosis fatalities up but cases down in last two years

While in 2019, there were 1, 07,982 TB cases, the next year the cases of infection went down to 86,842. 

Published: 04th September 2021 07:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2021 07:50 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  In the year 2020, the national capital registered a surge of deaths due to tuberculosis (TB) by 190 per cent as compared to 2019 according to a Right To Information (RTI) reply.  The RTI filed by activist Vivek Pandey had sought data on TB cases and deaths from the year 2018 till June 2021. The Union Health ministry reply states that while in the year 2019 there have been only 11 deaths, last year the fatality figure went up to 2111. 

However, according to the RTI, the number of new TB cases went down in 2020 compared to 2019. While in 2019, there were 1, 07,982 TB cases, the next year the cases of infection went down to 86,842.  In 2018, there had been 1006 TB deaths which went down in the next year. In 2021, 600 TB patients have already succumbed to the disease till June in the national capital. In the recent times, many Covid recovered patients are developing TB.

Last month in Kerala, the state government conducted a TB active case-finding campaign which found as many as 155 Covid recovered individuals and their contacts positive for TB. According to the state health officials, 104 of the TB cases were Covid-recovered individuals and 51 were their household contacts. Aakash Healthcare, a private hospital in Delhi saw a 15 to 20 per cent surge in cases of TB as compared to earlier years.”People have been irregular with their treatments, they fear to go to the hospitals. Many couldn’t get access to the treatment as the hospitals were burdened with Covid patients.

The hospitals were coping with the new situation which was a big challenge at that time for healthcare fraternity. That is why diseases such as tuberculosis, diabetes and hypertension took the back seat,” said Dr Rakesh Pandit, Senior Consultant & HOD, Internal Medicine, Aakash Healthcare.

Dr Vijay Hadda, Pulmonologist, AIIMS said that one reason for TB deaths is because non-Covid services were largely hampered last year due to the pandemic and initial lockdowns. “As far as TB post-Covid is related, it cannot be only because of Coronavirus. It is not a risk factor. During treatment, steroids are used which reduces immunity power and hence are prone to TB or other diseases,” said Hadda.


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