Covid-19 claimed at least two lives every hour on an average in Ranchi in the past one week, while the mortality rate in the State capital jumped to 1.31 per cent, which was higher than most of the tier-two cities and even some metros in India, Government data reveals.
Figures compiled by the National Health Mission (NHM) highlight that as many as 350 Ranchi residents lost their battle against Covid-19 from April 25 to May 2, indicating that on an average around 50 people lost their lives to the lethal virus every day.
Ranchi’s Covid mortality rate of 1.31 per cent was also higher than the State’s average of 1.20 per cent and the national average of 1.10 per cent. As per data with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Covid mortality rate in Delhi was 1.40 per cent and that in Mumbai was 1.49 per cent.
However, the population in these two cities was much higher in comparison to Ranchi.
“Staying at home is the only way of dealing with this wave of Covid-19. The mutated virus strains are more lethal and are even claiming lives of young people in the city,” said the state coordinator of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr Ajay Singh, urging all residents to take the vaccine when their turn comes.
While the city is grappling with the worst ever wave of Covid-19, the soaring number of deaths has exposed the lack of health infrastructure in Jharkhand’s largest city, say experts.
“We are constantly trying to upgrade the health facilities to battle the spike in cases, but the number of patients has skyrocketed in no time, leaving us with no option but to keep looking for ways to increase the number of Covid beds and provide oxygen support,” said a health official who has been actively involved in Covid management in Ranchi.
The active caseload in Ranchi breached the 10,000 mark for the first time a fortnight ago. In two weeks, the active caseload doubled and crossed 20,000. While most of the patients were in home isolation, the count of patients in need of hospitalisation also doubled in the past fortnight, say doctors. Besides, many patients from suburban Ranchi and neighbouring districts were also moving to Ranchi for better treatment, thereby adding more pressure on the health infrastructure here.
“Every day, we are trying our level best to accommodate the needy patients in hospital and ensure that they get the treatment they require. The situation needs special attention from all stakeholders,” said Dr. Ajit Kumar of Sadar Hospital.
In the past couple of weeks, Covid-19 has claimed the lives of around half a dozen journalists and at least seven lawyers. Some of the deceased were only in their early thirties and did not have any comorbid conditions, their relatives claimed. As per Government data, as many as 953 Covid patients died in Jharkhand in the past one week, the highest spike reported in a week so far.