Co-morbidity main reason for higher mortality rate in KP

Updated May 08 2020

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Prevalence of co-morbidities among those passed away from the pandemic in Pakistan was nine per cent higher in KP, says report. ⁠— Reuters/File
Prevalence of co-morbidities among those passed away from the pandemic in Pakistan was nine per cent higher in KP, says report. ⁠— Reuters/File

PESHAWAR: Higher co-morbidity and age groups of those passed away due to Covid-19 are main reasons of higher mortality from the infection in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to a report compiled by disease surveillance division of National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad.

“Age group from 61years to 70 years constitutes 58 per cent of deaths in the country but the proportion of cases in this age group is 22 to 24 per cent higher in KP than other provinces,” Dr Rana Mohammad Safdar, chief of disease surveillance division of NIH, told National Command and Operation Centre during a briefing.

According to his detailed presentation, the same age group contributes 31 per cent of deaths in KP while the prevalence of deaths in the group in other provinces is 29 per cent.

According to the document, the prevalence of co-morbidities among those passed away from the pandemic in Pakistan was nine per cent higher in KP in all the deaths while it was 14 per cent more than other province in age group from 61 years to 70 years.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had 74 per cent co-morbid patients, who died of the ailment in total death toll while it was 82 per cent among the people aged 61 to 70 years.

NIH report says 61 to 70 years age group constitutes 58pc of Covid-19 deaths

In other provinces, the morbid people among dead were 63 per cent in general and 37 per cent in 61 to 70 years. In other provinces, 68 per cent people with co-morbidities died of the ailment generally while 32 per cent in the same group had co-morbidities which meant they had other sicknesses too.

According to the document, more men Covid-19 patients died in KP than other province as it recorded 75 per cent deaths in men in age group of 61 to 70-year men, higher than 67 per cent of other provinces.

Among the confirmed Covid-19 cases, 82 per cent were in the same age group in KP and 79 per cent in other provinces.

Dr Rana Afzal, who is also national coordinator for Polio Eradication Pakistan, didn’t elaborate the causative agents for the difference in age group among the deceased persons in his presentation.

“Somehow, this age group is getting more infected in KP than the rest of provinces. The reason may have something to do with social mix up (hujra, mosque, funeral, Tableegh) etc,” a senior public health expert told Dawn.

He said that late arrival of patients to hospitals could be also one of the causes of maximum scale of mortality in KP than other provinces.

“Additional factors can people’s reluctance to bring the patients to their local hospitals. They bring the patients to Peshawar, the capital city, from far-flung districts, which deteriorates their conditions,” he said.

The report said that nationwide 67 per cent of the deceased people had co-morbidities.

It said that Karachi accounted for 91 per cent, Peshawar 50 for per cent and Lahore 37 per cent deaths in Sindh, KP and Punjab provinces respectively.

The document showed that 93 per cent of the people, who breathed their last due to Covid-19, remained hospitalised with average 3.9 days stay in hospital and 56 per cent among them remained on ventilator on average for 2.5 days.

So far, 10 healthcare providers including seven doctors and three paramedics have died of Covid-19, whereas 530 including 280 doctors, 175 paramedics and 75 nurses have been infected with Covid-19.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2020