Recovery rate of 13 districts is under 60%, another nine is between 60-70%, and four are between 70-72%. Parbhani in Marathwada which saw an exponential jump in active cases – from 286 in July to 1,312 till August – has the lowest recovery rate at 39%, while Nanded, from the same region, has the second lowest at 50%. Nanded witnessed a 200% jump in active cases between July and August.
Most districts with a recovery rate between 50%-60% — Nagpur, Beed, Latur, Wardha — are from Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, which have seen rapid spread of the infection in August and are struggling with sub-optimal health infrastructure.
The Centre has voiced its concerns about Maharashtra’s low recovery rate and high case fatality on several occasions. Even with a liberal discharge policy, the state has not managed to catch up with the national average. Tamil Nadu (4.03lakh) that has the second highest caseload after Maharashtra (7.3lakh) has a recovery rate of 85%. Delhi has the higher recovery rate in the country at 90%.
A senior state official said the recovery rate in Vidarbha and Marathwada districts were languishing due to a voluminous increase in cases over the past few weeks. In at least 6 districts, recovery rates have fallen from what it was in July due to the increase. “Patients are reporting late to the hospital which could be prolonging their hospital stay,” the official said.
Dr Pradeep Awate, state’s surveillance officer, however attributed it to technical issues in updating discharge data. “Districts are swamped with cases and sometimes there is a time lag,” he said. A lower recovery rate is also due to delayed recording of discharges of people under home isolation. “At any given point now, at least 50% of the active cases are under home isolation,” Dr Awate said. The state currently has 1,78,234 active cases.
Health officials in tribal-populated Gadchiroli said they were taking every step possible to maintain their record of zero deaths and high recovery. The district has 650 cases and one death, which officials said happened in a Hyderabad hospital but was counted in Gadchiroli. “Most of our patients were CRPF and SRPF jawans who had mild symptoms. Here, barring a handful, barely anyone even needed oxygen support,” said civil surgeon Dr Anil Rudey.
Another tribal-dominated district Nandurbar has not been so lucky: it has seen over 2,200 cases with recovery rate of 50%. State officials insisted that August has been a good month as far as recoveries are concerned – on several days there were more discharges than daily additions. In comparison, 2.5 lakh new cases were added in July and 1.65 lakh discharged.
BMC’s additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said interventions in the community combined with people seeking timely treatment and standard treatment protocols helped with Mumbai’s recovery rate.