By Mahima Devkota, Kathmandu, Feb. 9: Number of deaths from COVID-19 on daily basis has not declined much despite a sharp decrease in the number of people infected with the novel coronavirus.
The Corona infection rate declined by 35.39 from the highest recorded infection rate of 50.80 percent on January 22. However, in overall, the death from COVID-19 has not dropped as expected over two weeks from the highest recorded death number of 16.
11 people succumbed to COVID-19 in 24 hours on February 8.
According to Dr. Sher Bahadur Pun, chief of the Clinical Research Unit at Sukraraj Hospital in Teku, even though the novel coronavirus infection rate is decreasing, the death rate has remained the same.
Dr. Pun said, “There are always two phases while looking at the novel coronavirus infection. First is getting an infection and spread of virus and second is receiving treatment. Currently, we are in the second phase that is people with severe COVID-19 are receiving treatment at the hospital, therefore, the death rate is also observed.” He added that the death rate will also drop in a week or two as new hospitalization due to COVID-19 is minimal.
He informed that majorly, elderlies and people with chronic infection have been observed to be severely affected by the third wave. Immunosuppressed people are always at risk, therefore, one must be vigilant as weaker variants like Omicron can affect them.
According to Dr. Krishna Prasad Poudel, Chief at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD), 7/8 people on average are losing their life to COVID-19 on daily basis.
Dr. Poudel said, “Early hospitalization can be observed at the peak of the COVID-19 infection rate, therefore, there is less likely for death rate to be high at that time. However, after 1-2 weeks of hospitalizations, the death rate begins to rise, which is what is happening in Nepal.”
“Cases in the third wave were high two weeks before, and the hospitalizations are from that time, some with severe cases are still admitted to the hospital and those are losing life as well. Because of this, the death rate has remained the same despite the decrease in COVID-9 infection rate,” he added.
COVID-19 infection in the country yet to be stable
According to Dr. Krishna Prasad Poudel, Chief at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD), COVID-19 must be below 5 per cent for it to be considered normal and out of danger, but still, the infection rate is above 10 percent, double what is considered normal, therefore, the COVID-19 infection rate in Nepal cannot be considered normal.
Last year, during the second wave in mid of January, the COVID-19 infection rate was as high as 50 percent and in the third wave in the same month, it dropped down to 13 per cent.
The highest rate of COVID-19 infection in the third wave, which was 50.80, was recorded on January 22. Out of 23,409 tests, both the PCR and antigen, 11,352 people tested positive for the virus, and the number of death was 4. Currently, cases of COVID-19 infection have gone down to below 2,000.
As per the data of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), COVID-19 cases have dropped down from the last week of January.
Highest number of death from COVID-19 recorded in 60-70 age group
Of the total 11,827 people who succumbed to COVID-19, the age group 60-69 comprises 20 per cent, which is 2,484 people aged 60-69 died of COVID-19. This is the highest infection observed in the age group.
The second age group is 50-59, which comprises 19.65 per cent of the total death numbers from COVID-19. This is followed by the age group 40-59 age group, which comprises 19.28 of the deaths from COVID-19.