India's COVID-19 Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) stands at 1.93%, as of today, signalling a continuous decline in the mortality rate.
Despite deaths due to the coronavirus crossing 50,000 and the and the recent post-lockdown spike with more than 66,000 fresh COVID-19 cases yesterday, the rate of increase in fatalities is down. The USA crossed 50,000 deaths in 23 days, Brazil in 95 days and Mexico in 141 days. India took 156 days to reach this national figure.
There has been sustained focus of the Union and the State/UT governments on improved and effective clinical treatment in hospitals, supervised home isolation, use of non-invasive oxygen support, and improved services of the ambulances for ferrying patients for prompt and timely treatment.
The Union Health Ministry yesterday in a statement maintained that India has one of the lowest mortalities (COVID-19 CFR) globally currently standing at 1.93%.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its latest ‘Scientific Brief’ warned that there are broad variations in estimations of CFR that may be misleading during the pandemic.
The WHO pointed out that countries are difficult to compare for a number of reasons adding that they may be more or less likely to detect and report all COVID-19 deaths.
“Countries may be using different case definitions and testing strategies or counting cases differently for example, with mild cases not being tested or counted," the WHO’s Scientific Brief said, adding that variations in CFR also may be explained in part by the way time lags are handled.
According to the apex global public health agency, there are two measures used to assess the proportion of infected individuals with fatal outcomes. The first is infection fatality ratio (IFR), which estimates this proportion of deaths among all infected individuals. The second is CFR which estimates this proportion of deaths among identified confirmed cases.
To measure IFR accurately, a complete picture of the number of infections of, and deaths caused by, the disease must be known. Consequently, at this early stage of the pandemic, most estimates of fatality ratios have been based on cases detected through surveillance and calculated using crude methods, giving rise to widely variable estimates of CFR by country – from less than 0.1% to over 25%, the WHO said.