Study by medical officers at Covid Control Room Kashmir also notes that lockdown measures were less effective in the second wave
Srinagar: A research study conducted by Tahir Ahmad Magray, Incharge Divisional Covid Control Room Kashmir (DCCRK); Dr Umar Nazir, Dr Rouf Hussain Rather, and Dr Feroz Ahmad Wani – Medical Officers who worked at DCCRK – has found that the Covid Case Fatality Rate in Kashmir declined with time, despite new variants appearing and spreading rapidly.
The study titled ‘Case Fatality Rate, Mortality Trends during Pandemic in Kashmir’ has been published in the Asian Journal of Medical Sciences (AJMS).
The research was to give an overview of the entire situation as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, the worst in the contemporary era, in a geographically isolated region such as Kashmir.
As the Divisional Covid Control Room, Kashmir, was established for instant dissemination of relevant information to administration for containment measures, the team stationed there also collected data based on which it came up with the research study.
The data showed that the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) declined with time despite new variants appearing which spread at a very fast rate; and mortality remained higher in elderly and in males in all the three pandemic waves.
During the three waves, Kashmir Division witnessed 2,74,307 COVID-19 cases and 2,334 deaths. The trend of COVID-19 case incidence in Kashmir division followed a pattern similar to India with two exceptions.
First, the peak of all the waves occurred approximately 12-14 days later than in the rest of the country. Second, there was relatively less burden of cases during the first wave when a regional lockdown was imposed in Kashmir. The second wave had exponential growth of cases and also the largest number of cases.
The percentage of cases was higher among the tested population (47% of the total cases) during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which can be attributed to the fact that the dominant mutant strain (Delta) was more transmissible, more virulent and was escaping the immune system of the body.
“Simultaneously, the lockdown measures were less effective due to various socio-economic constraints among the masses which made them have complacency in adapting COVID appropriate behavior during the second wave,” the researchers argue.
During the third wave, the percentage of cases again came down (26.2%) despite the highly transmissible mutant variant of the virus because the population was less susceptible this time as most of the people had been infected during the first two waves of the pandemic.
The researchers claim that an overall CFR of 0.85% was observed in the population with a maximum case fatality of 1.67% in the first wave followed by 0.79% in the second wave and only 0.13% in the third wave.
“We also found that the mortality from this COVID-19 pandemic was seen highest 64% (1493) in the age group 60 years and above, followed by 30.6% (715) in the age group of 41-60 years, 4.8% (113) in the age group of 21-40 years and only 0.6% (13) in the age group of 0-20 years,” the study notes.
The paper can be accessed online on this link https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/AJMS/issue/view/2777 published on October 1, 2022.