Physicians say a better understanding of the disease trajectory, confidence among patients on seeking home care and availability of health infrastructure contributed to more recoveries in the city over the last 45 days. Thane has a recovery rate of 44%, while Palghar and Raigad have a rate of 49% and 47%.
After Mumbai saw its first case on March 11, the first 8 patients were discharged on March 25. Recovery numbers, however, languished through April and May when the city witnessed a large number of cases and deaths. It hovered around 20-26% in May and rose to about 50% in June. It rose further, from the end of last month, and touched 61% by the first week of July.
BMC chief IS Chahal said that after the decision to allow universal testing, the samples tested have increased from 4,000 to 6,800 per day. “But our total positives have come down from 1,400 to 1,200 now. Out of this, symptomatic patients are fewer than 200, so we need only around 200 beds every day,” he said, adding that after allocating beds to all positive patients on Sunday, 7,000 Covid beds and 250 ICU beds were vacant. Most Covid beds are in field hospitals that were created anticipating a surge in cases.
“The field hospitals are one of the key reasons Mumbai has coped with the pandemic better when we hit the peak in May,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the state’s task force. He added that while doctors have a bigger basket of drugs to choose from now, the impact of that would only be better understood in a month from now.
According to physician Dr Hemant Thacker, confidence among doctors on treating patients at home and the reduced panic index have played a role too. “For every patient who is hospitalised, I am treating 10 through video consultations. Home isolation has played a crucial part in disease control,” he said. A public hospital doctor said availability and the knowledge about the window to use steroids, antivirals and anti-inflammatory drugs is also aiding recovery.
However, the state’s recovery rate that was running parallelly to Mumbai’s initially now is around 55%. One of the reasons could be that districts like Pune, Thane and Raigad continue to have recovery rate of less than 50%. With these districts adding a large number of cases for the last two weeks, active cases have gone up, bringing recovery rate down. The total active cases in the state as on Monday were 1,05,637, of which merely 22% were in Mumbai.
Pune, which in June had more recoveries than active cases, has a recovery rate of 42% as the district has been adding cases in large numbers. Smaller cities like Nanded have a recovery rate of just 41%. In July, the state added nearly 86,000 new cases and sent home nearly 53,000 people after treatment.