Covid fatalities surpass accident deaths in Kerala
| Thursday | 4th February, 2021
Deaths in the state from road accidents and other communicable diseases were less than Covid-19-related fatalities in 2020. The overall death rate also dropped by around 10% between 2019 and 2020, as per latest data from the civil registration system.
Deaths in the state from road accidents and other communicable diseases were less than Covid-19-related fatalities in 2020. The overall death rate also dropped by around 10% between 2019 and 2020, as per latest data from the civil registration system. The latest figures contain information on deaths from all parts of the state, except 153 gram panchayats where a new system is in place and for which data has not been compiled yet.
Kerala recorded 2,37,407 deaths in 2020 compared with 2,63,983 the previous year – translating to a 26,576 drop. According to sources, even if data from the remaining panchayats is included, the figure will be significantly lower than in the previous year.
In the case of communicable diseases, 2020 saw the lowest mortality of the past five years, at 90. This was down 61% from the previous year. Even road-accident deaths fell by 32%, and the figure of 2,979 was the lowest recorded in the past five years. Last year, Kerala reported 3,074 Covid-19 deaths. This was the first time that fatalities from an infectious disease outnumbered accident deaths in Kerala. The cumulative deaths from communicable diseases have always been lower than that of accident deaths.
“Assuming that most of the deaths from 2020 are already registered, some of this reduction can still be a result of deaths averted by decreased economic activity, mobility and the overall lockdown resulting in reduced road traffic or industrial accidents, or even reduced number of deaths from infectious diseases. However, fact remains that Kerala historically had a very low proportion of deaths due to infectious diseases,” said health researcher Oommen C Kurian in a technical paper published by Observer Research Foundation. Also for the first time in five years, Kerala managed to bring down the fatality due to other communicable diseases below 100 in 2020. The most significant drop was noted in H1N1 deaths. In 2018 and 2019 Kerala recorded 50 and 45 HIN1 deaths, respectively, while in 2020 only two deaths were recorded due to H1N1. Medical practitioners attribute such a sharp dip in H1N1 mortality to the widespread use of masks, which reduced chances of respiratory infection. Covid-19 remained the major and solo respiratory viral threat for Keralites in 2020, infectious disease specialists said.
Commenting on the data, health minister K K Shailaja said interventions by health department and other departments with a focus on saving lives seem to have yielded results. Even districts with the highest number of Covid-19 deaths and which have recorded more than 300 deaths showed a dip in total number of deaths in 2020. In Thiruvananthapuram, which has had the highest Covid-19 mortality, death rate dropped by 11% while that of Ernakulam and Thrissur came down by 10%. “We will get the full picture only after data compilation from 153 local bodies as well which is being recorded in a new system,” said M Ramankutty, chief registrar, births and deaths, panchayat department.
Your support to NYOOOZ will help us to continue create and publish news for and from smaller cities, which also need equal voice as much as citizens living in bigger cities have through mainstream media organizations.