In an alarming sign, 89 out of 90 COVID-19 patients, who had been placed on ventilators in ICUs at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) until July 13, have died. Doctors have attributed the deaths to late admission and comorbidities.
Dr Smitha Segu, the nodal officer at the institute, confirmed the development and said the majority of the patients at the BMRCI had comorbidities as it was the only dedicated hospital that handled critically-ill COVID-19 patients.
“Since the pandemic began, we (the BMRCI) were the only institute to accept critically ill-patients. Even in the recent days, some hospitals shifted patients to BMCRI after initial treatments failed,” Segu said. “But the mortality rate among intubated patients will come down as other hospitals have stepped up facilities.”
Bangalore has the highest deaths per million population in the state. According to the state war-room data, 39 people died per million, while the state average was about 14. The case fatality rate (the number of people who died among those who had tested positive) however remained at 1.8 per cent.
Segu added that the state government had taken note of the development and had asked even private hospitals to pitch in and help.
Meanwhile, Dr Giridhar Babu, epidemiologist and member of Karnataka’s COVID-19 technical advisory committee indicated that the total infections in Bangalore could have crossed 2-lakh mark even as the active cases stood at 17,000 in the city as of July 15.
“Our estimates are based on the ICMR’s case to infection ratio. We are only cautioning the government by estimating the worst so that they can tackle better,” Babu said.
He said the only way to contain the spread was to increase the testing capacity and added that the government had already stepped up measures to double the capacity, while it also increased the resources in the existing labs.
For the past seven days, the positivity rate (number of positive cases among those tested) in Bangalore was about 27.5 per cent, while the state average remained at 14.6 per cent. Dharwad, Ballari, Ramanagara and Dakshina Kannada had over 20 per cent positivity rate.
Karnataka has been witnessing a spurt in COVID-19 cases and on Wednesday (July 15), it recorded the highest single-day spike with 3,176 cases. As of July 15, Karnataka had recorded a total of 47,253 COVID-19 cases, of which 27,853 were active.
With community transmission in place, the sources of spread in nearly half of the cases in the state has not been identified. The government, which increased the number of tests from 17,000 in the first week of July to 22,000 on July 15, hoped to increase it to about 30,000 per day by the month-end.
Meanwhile, state Health Minister B Sriramulu on Wednesday (July 15) said “only God can save the state,” insisting that public cooperation was key to controlling the spread of the pandemic.
Opposition parties have demanded the ruling government to step down as it failed to tackle the situation. They alleged that the government was interested in only “looting” people by inflating the procurement prices of PPE kits.