India’s COVID-19 average case fatality rate is relatively low despite a surge in cases, says GlobalData

With a total of nearly 200,000 confirmed cases and over 5,500 deaths reported due to COVID-19 in the past three months, India stands in tenth position in terms of the number of confirmed cases. Though India showed a surge in new cases over the past few days, the average case fatality rate (CFR) is relatively low, at 2.9%, or one death for every 35 confirmed cases, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The CFR is less than half of the global average CFR based on 215 countries, at 6.3%, whereas the CFR for France, Italy, the UK, and Spain ranges between 11.4% and 15.5% or one death for every 6 to 9 confirmed cases, followed by Brazil at 6.2%, the US at 5.9%, and Iran at 5.4%. Russia showed the lowest CFR of 1.0% among the 12 worst affected countries. Germany, which was considered the model for prevention of COVID-19 deaths, has a CFR considerably higher than that of India, at 4.6%.

Lizzy Sunny, Practice Head at GlobalData, comments: “The surge in cases in India can be attributed to a recent easing of the lockdown combined with an increase in the testing capacity. As of 25 May 2020, India has tested more than 3 million of its population and the trend in the daily number of people tested is increasing. Due to the ease in lockdown and significant increase in testing, India is expected to see a peak in cases sometime in June or July 2020. However, the success story for any country relies on how good it is at controlling the deaths from the pandemic, and India has proved to be successful at doing so.”

The low mortality rate in India can be attributed to its youthful population structure, the hot temperature, and a milder strain of the virus. Additionally, an early, stringent and prolonged lockdown helped to avert the expected exponential growth in the new cases and deaths.

A recent estimate by the Public Health Foundation of India stated that 78,000 deaths due to COVID-19 have been averted due to the effective implementation of mitigation measures by the government of India.

Sunny concludes: “The proportion of confirmed cases among the tested population stands at 4.8%, which may translate to an estimated 66.0 million COVID-19 cases currently present in India. The real extent of the spread of the pandemic can only be studied through widespread testing of the population.

“Additionally, in India and the rest of the world, many people who get infected by the virus are either asymptomatic or with mild infection. Therefore, as testing capacity increases, more and more cases can be identified in the early stages and therefore, better care can be provided to patients, which can further reduce the CFR.”

More Media