Two weeks after the West Bengal government decided to create a database of senior citizens living on their own in high-rises in Howrah, Kolkata and Bidhannagar, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has taken the first step towards collecting the health data of elderly people living in the 144 wards in its jurisdiction. This database will be more comprehensive than the one planned earlier, and will include all areas.
Worried about the high case fatality rate (CFR) in the capital, Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who is the nodal officer for Covid-19 management in Kolkata, on Wednesday convened a meeting of municipal officials and instructed them to begin the survey. The aim of the exercise is to identify the major diseases among the elderly population, which is the most vulnerable to Covid-19.
The health authorities expect this database to help them manage the treatment of senior citizens and bring down the CFR in Kolkata, which is 1.25 percentage points higher than the statewide figure. Till date, 1,154 people have died of Covid-19 in the city, comprising almost 43 per cent of the state’s toll.
According to the latest health bulletin, the fatality rate in the 61-75 age group is 6.26 per cent, and 13.9 per cent among those who are above 75 years. Of all the deaths, 87.8 per cent have occurred because of comorbidities.
“Generally, hypertension, asthma, diabetes, COPD, and malignancy might become fatal for Covid patients. So, it is necessary to do proper mapping, and take precautions to save elderly citizens. That is why this survey is to be conducted in Kolkata,” said a senior doctor at KMC.
According to sources, executive medical officers at every KMC borough will form teams comprising Asha workers, health workers, and civic volunteers. They will visit each house in the ward to collect information about elderly citizens residing there, including their health problems.
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