The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation revised its home isolation guidelines again Friday to allow coronavirus-afflicted patients aged above 50 years to observe quarantine at home or opt for government or private hospitals. Civic officials said they will only “counsel” patients from the age group to seek institutional isolation at Covid Care Centres, but not make it mandatory.
On Wednesday, BMC’s executive health officer Dr Mangala Gomare had issued guidelines to all assistant commissioners stating “no home isolation should be allowed” for Covid-19 patients aged above 50 years, irrespective of their symptoms and co-morbidities.
“A lot of people said there will be fear in getting tested if institutional quarantine is made compulsory. We have changed the wordings of the guidelines. Our health workers will try and counsel patients for institutional quarantine,” Gomare said Friday.
The revised guidelines state: “Asymptomatic patients with comorbidity above the age of 50 years will be persuaded not to observe home quarantine in the interest of their own wellbeing.” It states asymptomatic patients above 50 years will be allowed to observe quarantine at home “if they wish to”.
Civic officials said the option of hospitalisation at Covid Care Centres, dedicated Covid-19 hospitals or dedicated Covid-19 health centres will, however, be available for all patients above 50 years.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said the earlier decision to admit all patients above 50 years was taken to monitor them from the beginning and screen them daily. “We were noticing several patients were seeking admission when their condition turned critical. If we screen such patients early, we can save more lives,” he said.
On Friday, Mumbai recorded 1,406 new Covid-19 cases, taking its total count to 1.34 lakh cases. At least 42 more deaths due to the coronavirus disease were also reported on the day. With this, the death toll in the financial capital stands at 7,356.
BMC data shows 57 per cent (or 4,175) of those who succumbed to the virus were more than 50 years old. Maximum deaths have been reported in the 50-80 age bracket, it added.
Across Maharashtra, 14,161 new cases and 339 deaths were recorded Friday. The state has recorded 6.57 lakh cases, of which 4.70 lakh have recovered. The death toll stands at 21,698.
Pune recorded 1,692 new cases on Friday to surpass Mumbai. Pimpri Chinchwad reported 946 new cases. Pune district has recorded a total of 1.44 lakh cases, of which 41,326 are active, while Mumbai currently has 18,299 active infections.
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