On Friday, the case fatality rate—total deaths upon total cases—in India declined to 1.6%. While India had hit its peak case fatality rate of 3.4% on June 17, the rate has fallen since as the country has been testing more and finding more infections. Besides, better clinical management practices have helped control fatalities.
With drugs and experimental therapies to help stem the increase in deaths, death rates across the country have been brought under control. Barring a few states, case fatality rates have fallen. In cities, too, fatality rates have declined. However, with a resurgence in cases, and pressure on health infrastructure, there is a risk that rates may start rising again. Mumbai, on Thursday, imposed Section 144 again as the city’s cases were increasing and it was experiencing over 90% occupancy rates for ICU beds and ventilators.
Another worrying aspect is the spread of infections in rural and semi-urban areas, where robust health infrastructure is lacking. While the government does not provide any classification of districts into rural and urban, using census data, we categorise districts with over 30% population living in cities as urban, with 20-30% such population as semi-urban and below 20% as rural.
Using this methodology, it was found that while 66%.5 of cases were in urban areas on August 1, this had declined to 62.6% on September 17. Meanwhile, share of rural infections had increased from 17.7 % to 19.6%.