There has been a significant decline in the number of critical COVID-19 patients being monitored in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of various hospitals in November and early December.
As on December 6, while four districts had zero ICU cases, Bengaluru Urban had the highest with 143. The next highest was Tumakuru at 23. Uttara Kannada, Koppal, Chitradurga, and Haveri had one case each.
After seeing above 900 critical cases till the end of October, the State witnessed a decline in the number of critical patients since November 6 when cases fell in the under 900 bracket.
Following this, there was a further reduction and cases hovered around 800 till November 12.
Subsequently, the number of ICU cases fell to below 800 and then below 700 from November 17 and in another two days the number further dropped to below 600. From then onwards critical cases started declining by nearly 100 every five days. Since the last two days, critical cases have fallen in the under 300 bracket. As on Sunday, the number of ICU patients remained at 280.
Doctors said the fall in ICU cases is proportionate to the reduction in the overall positive cases.
“It is scientifically difficult to determine if the fall in critical cases actually indicates that the virus is less virulent now,” said C.N. Manjunath, nodal officer for labs and testing in the State’s COVID-19 task force.
Anoop Amarnath, member, Karnataka’s COVID-19 critical care support unit (CCSU), who also heads the department of Geriatric Medicine at Manipal Hospitals, said most people now report early to hospitals due to increased awareness. “Early detection and early intervention always help in early recovery. The decline in the number of patients turning critical is mainly because of this. Also, the stigma that was associated with COVID-19 in the initial months has decreased and most people are now not averse to getting tested and treated,” he said.
Dr. Anoop said standardisation of treatment across the board for asymptomatic, mild, moderate and severe cases and also in management of SARI and ILI cases has also contributed to the decline in the number of critical cases.
On Bengaluru having the highest number of critical cases, the doctor said this was because the city sees a lot of complex cases. “As a tertiary/quaternary referral centre, it is expected to see this kind of number vis-à-vis the population,” he added.