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One-third of high-risk Covid-19 patients fully recover in Karnataka

BENGALURU: A third of high-risk Covid-19 cases in Karnataka have walked out of hospitals, fully recovered, in the past three months raising hopes among health administrators about reining in the death rate in the coming weeks.

According to the data compiled by the government, there have been 18,779 high-risk cases, as of July 20, and 6,639 patients have been discharged. Most of these patients are in government hospitals.

“Bengaluru Urban has the highest of these cases. Other cases are spread across Mysuru, Dharwad, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar and Belagavi districts,” special officer for Critical Care Support Unit and Tele ICU Dr KV Thrilok Chandra told ET.

What gives health administrators hope about controlling the case fatality rate (CFR) or the number of deaths among the Covid-19-positive cases is that the majority of those who succumbed to the infection had comorbidities. “Of the 1,400 deaths reported in Karnataka as of July 21, about 1,087 of them had one or the other morbidity,” Chandra, a qualified doctor himself, said.

The government defines high-risk cases as patients above 50 years of age or children less than 10 years with comorbid conditions such as hypertension, acute diabetes, cancer, hyperthyroidsm or ischemic heart disease requiring ICU, high-flow oxygen beds and ventilator support.

Over the past three months, and until Tuesday, the hospitals had 163 cases that were either ‘brought dead’ or ‘died at home’. “As many as 368 people died within 24 hours of admission, 281 died within 48 hours and 162 persons died within 72 hours of admission. The data suggests that in about 70% of the cases, patients reported late after their health condition worsened. There was not much time for treatment,” Chandra, an IAS officer monitoring the high-risk cases in Karnataka, said.

“The inference that we can draw from the data available is these persons were either under self-medication or were being treated by a local doctor or were taking over-the-counter drugs. They were already in a critical condition when they were brought to hospitals,” Chandra said. “The chances of survival are high if patients report to us early. That will also reduce Karnataka’s death rate due to Covid,” he added.

Meanwhile, chief minister BS Yediyurappa, in a review meeting on Wednesday with ministers overseeing four zones in Bengaluru, asked them to ensure expert doctors attend to high-risk patients so that Karnataka’s recovery rate improves.

Of the 61 Covid deaths Karnataka reported on Tuesday, Bengaluru Urban accounted for a third of them. Untreated hypertension and diabetes have been found to be a major factor in several cases of Covid deaths in the state. Keeping these under control with treatment is the best immunity against any complications, health officials said.

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