COVID-19 | Discrepancies in Karnataka districts’ recovery rates

A gealth worker collecting a swab for COVID-19 testing in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

The State’s recovery rate from COVID-19 infections as of Wednesday stood at 70.16 %. However, there are huge discrepancies between the recovery rate within the districts. According to the data provided by the State war room, the district with the highest recovery rate is Chitradurga at 89.53 %. On the other hand, Bengaluru Urban has the lowest recovery rate at 63.03%.

Other districts with a good recovery rate are Davangere with 88.35% and Gadag with 87.59%. Apart from Bengaluru Urban, districts with lower recovery rates are Tumakuru (67%) and Bengaluru Rural (64.17 %). The recovery rate is calculated based on the total number of recoveries divided by the total number of positive cases reported so far multipled by 100.

One of the main reasons for Bengaluru Urban’s low recovery rate is the sheer volume of cases, said health experts. In the last seven days, the district reported the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the State (1.12 lakh), while Chitraduraga, with 960 cases, reported the least number of cases in the same period.

A senior doctor dealing with COVID-19 patients in a government hospital said, “Another reason for low recovery rate in Bengaluru is because there is a huge burden on hospitals. Many of the patients do not recover as there are inadequate health care facilities to treat such a large number of patients. Patients who have COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms like breathlessness are unable to find beds in the city and are taken to other districts such as Mysuru, Hubballi where there are beds available.”

Tracing issues

However, experts say that the recovery rate in the city is far higher than what is shown. Giridhar R. Babu, professor and head of Life Course Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), pointed out that in Bengaluru, many people are not traced after testing positive. Therefore the administration is unable to classify them as either recovered or not.

“In such cases, after 14 days, the system should record the person as “deem to be discharged”, which was something done in the first wave. The data is not available mostly due to deficient Human Resources,” he said.

He added that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has to recruit one auxiliary nurse midwife for every 5,000-10000 people, and one ASHA for every 1,000 to fix this system.

Officials point out that the recovery rate will improve once patients who are in hospitals and under home isolation are discharged and the number of new infections reported decline. “We are expecting that the number of new cases will dip in the next two weeks. As many of the patients will be discharged, the recovery rate will automatically improve,” an official with the Department of Health and Family Welfare stated.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 5:41:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/covid-19-discrepancies-in-karnataka-districts-recovery-rates/article34562589.ece

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