MUMBAI: Covid-19 deaths occurring at private hospitals and nursing homes will be closely monitored by the civic body in a bid to reduce the city’s fatality rate (CFR) that continues to hover over 5.5%, much higher than the state’s average of 3.4% and the country’s 2%. The share of deaths in private set-ups that used to be around 10-15% seems to be going up.
Civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal told TOI the daily death numbers between Monday and Saturday evening will be collated and evaluated on a weekly basis. “Based on that, we will hold discussions with heads of top ten hospitals with the highest death rates,” he said, adding the monitoring of deaths at public hospitals will continue simultaneously. As on Tuesday, the city has reported a total of 6,893 Covid deaths.
Chahal said that the next mission was to bring the fatality rate to less than 3%. “Importantly, we will evaluate if deaths are due to any treatment lapses or other factors that can be worked on,” he said. The BMC has not monitored private facility deaths so far, he said, though they planned to do so under ‘Mission Save Lives’ announced on June 30.
In the beginning of April, Mumbai’s CFR has touched 7% — highest in the country- prompting authorities to set up a task force to evaluate the death rate. A steady decline was visible when CFR dropped from 6.3% on April 11 to 3.9% on April 26. The numbers continued to be consistent until June 16, when BMC added 862 deaths as part of a reconciliation exercise, also spiking the fatality rate from 3.8% to 5.2%.
AMC Suresh Kakani said previously the share of private hospitals in deaths was around 10%-15%. “That seems to be going up now. While previously we saw most deaths in public tertiary hospitals, that number is on a decline,” he said. “We will be closely looking at issues of late referrals or non-referrals, if any, to the higher centres,” he added. KEM dean Dr Hemant Deshmukh said daily deaths have come down to single digits from 17-18 seen during the peak of the epidemic.
In the private sector, hospitals said they continue to see patients coming with advanced disease. “Often we see patients coming on the 7th or 8th day,” said Dr Sunil Agarwal, who runs a Covid mid-level hospital in Malad. In his opinion, the BMC must also look at people self-isolating at home and not realising when their oxygen levels have dipped.

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