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Friday, May 07, 2021

15,000 in home isolation, PCMC now upgrades call centre to reach out to them

The call centre was set up last year, when maximum Covid patients who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms were home isolated.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: April 17, 2021 9:10:12 pm
A Covid vaccination drive is underway at Mavle Vaccination Centre on Wednesday. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

With 70 per cent of the total active cases under home isolation, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has decided to expand the capacity of its call centre to reach out to a maximum of 20,000 patients a day. It has set up a dedicated team of doctors at the call centre to guide Covid-19 patients in home isolation.

“We have a call centre set up in the war room. It had a capacity of making 5,000 calls to patients. Now, the call centre will make at least 20,000 calls a day to the patients,” PCMC spokesperson Shirish Poredi told The Indian Express.

“Our team of doctors will monitor all patients in home isolation and provide counselling to them. If they need any further treatment in hospitals, accordingly, arrangements will be made,” Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil said.

The call centre was set up last year, when maximum Covid patients who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms were home isolated. Poredi said the purpose of the call centre is to monitor the health of patients and guide them in case their symptoms turn severe. The work of the call centre has been outsourced to a private firm. Civic officials said PCMC has stepped up efforts to monitor and track home-isolated patients, following complaints that some of them were found roaming outside their homes. The PCMC had earlier warned that police complaints would be filed if home isolated patients break the rules.

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Officials said call centre employees are to call up each and every patient on daily basis. “They have been tasked with the job of asking the patient about their conditon, to check if their symptoms have changed, whether they have taken their pulse oxymeter readings and temperature readings,” said Dr Anil Roy, PCMC Health and Medical chief.

In case patients under home isolation feel unwell or their symptoms start getting severe, a team of doctors at the war room then guides them about the medicine. “If the patient’s oxygen level has dropped drastically, then he or she is advised hospitalisation,” Roy said.

PCMC health officials said they send an ambulance to the patient’s home to get him or her admitted in a civic hospital or he or she can get admitted to a private hospital as desired.

Dr Abhaychandra Dadevar, a senior medical officer, said,”The patient who comes to the triage of YCM hospital is put in home isolation by the doctors after taking into account his symptoms. Generally, patients with mild symptoms or those who are asymptomatic are put in home isolation. They are then given medicines like HCQ and vitamins. Patients should regularly take their medicine for 10 days. The patient or the caretaker should monitor the temperature and the oxygen level and accordingly convey it to the call centre employee or the doctors,” he said.

Dadevar said the patient in home isolation should stay in a separate room and use a separate toilet and bathroom. “The caretaker should maintain social distancing from the patient and should mandatorily use mask and sanitise hands. Utensils and the clothes used by the patient should be regularly sanitised. The care taker should immediately alert the doctors if the patient is feeling unwell or his oxygen level drops,” he said.

Dadevar added,”If the patient does not have fever for three-four consecutive days, he or she should then remain in home isolation for 10 days. If the patient’s symptoms become severe like developing a high-grade fever, breathing trouble, drops in oxygen levels, then immediate medical assistance should be sought. …Such a patient who is confined to a separate room can remove his mask if he or she is alone as it will help improve oxygen level.”

PCMC Additional health chief Dr Pavan Salve said by Friday evening, Pimpri-Chinchwad had 22,007 active Covid cases. “Of these, 15,000 are in home isolation while 7,022 are hospitalised,” he said.

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