Facing criticism for “going slow” in tracing, tracking and treating patients with co-morbidities, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will from Monday launch a massive drive across the industrial city to detect such patients in a bid to provide them timely treatment.
“From Monday, we will launch a massive drive to trace and track those suffering from diseases like heart ailment, kidney problem or other serious conditions. So far, it has been observed that the condition of those who suffer from pre-existing diseases turns critical in no time if they get infected by coronavirus. Therefore, our drive will focus on co-morbid patients,” PCMC chief Shravan Hardikar said, adding that Pune district, including Pimpri-Chinchwad, has seen maximum deaths of co-morbid patients.
Hardikar said this will be the first such drive in all parts of the industrial city. “Earlier, our drives focused on detecting co-morbid patients in containment zones. From Monday we are expanding it to all parts of the city,” he said.
Hardikar said PCMC will use a software for data collection on co-morbid patients. He added that the civic administration will also rope in health activists in the task of locating co-morbid patients.
“Out of fear or stigma, coronavirus patients fight shy of taking early treatment. In case of co-morbid patients even a little delay in treatment proves fatal. Our effort is aimed at getting them early and timely treatment,” he said.
Dr Rajendra Wable, dean of YCM Hospital and Medical College, said, “In some cases, co-morbid patients have died just a few hours after being admitted to hospital. In several cases, it has been observed that co-morbid patients have died within a day or two of being admitted to hospital… close relatives should isolate such patients and at the slightest sign of fever or cough, seek treatment.”
Dr Pravin Soni, in-charge, Department of Medicine, YCM hospital, said, “Many co-morbid patients who have been infected with coronavirus come to YCM hospital in an extremely bad condition… the condition of such patients quickly deteriorates. In short, to avoid this situation, families should remain alert and seek quick treatment for those with pre-existing illnesses,” he said.
PCMC additional health chief Dr Pavan Salve said they are conducting house to house survey for locating senior citizens with co-morbidities. “This survey is for those above 60 years. We have so far found around 15,000 senior citizens who suffer either from high blood pressure or diabetes. The maximum over 8,000 suffer from high blood pressure,” Dr Salve said.
Manav Kamble, president of Nagari Haqq Suraksha Samiti, said, “Despite central and state governments repeatedly emphasising that co-morbid patients need special attention and early treatment, civic bodies including PCMC have failed to create awareness about early treatment. It has been slow in initiating action. And that’s why we are seeing high death rates of co-morbid patients.”
Settlement Commissioner S Chockalingam, who has been asked to look after Sassoon hospital, said he has spoken to both PMC and PCMC commissioners about the need to step up the drive to trace and treat co-morbid patients.
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