THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has always claimed the low death rate as one of the highlights of its fight against Covid-19 in the first wave. But the situation is likely to change this time as the number of active cases have increased drastically over the past few days. According to health experts, the rise in the number of patients is yet to peak and more deaths can be expected in the coming weeks. “The death toll will increase in proportion to the number of patients. The case fatality ratio will also change during the second wave,” said Indian Medical Association state secretary Dr Gopikumar P.
Of late, there has been a steep rise in the number of Covid patients requiring ventilator facility. Health experts have found a direct correlation between the number of people on ventilator and deaths. According to Dr N M Arun, internal medicine specialist and public health expert, the chances of death are 20-40% high for a patient on mechanical ventilator when compared to non-invasive ventilator.
As many as 11 deaths were reported when the number of people on ventilator support was 147 on April 1. It increased to 28 when 277 people were on ventilator on April 20. “Normally, people are asymptomatic for the first five to eight days. They then develop breathing difficulty which develops into pneumonia, and prolonging the condition would affect in system failure and death. Early detection and supportive treatment could help in saving lives,” said Dr Gopikumar.
On Tuesday, the state reported 28 deaths, taking the total toll to 4,978. The active number of patients has crossed 1.18 lakh, with the addition of 19,577 new patients on the day. The case fatality rate stands at 0.4%. “Usually, deaths are reported after 10 days of hospitalisation among severely infected patients. The numbers have already increased though it is not reflected in the official data,” said Dr N M Arun.