In the seventh round of house-to-house surveys in Pune, authorities have decided to focus their efforts on the elderly, residents with comorbidities and pregnant women, the groups most susceptible to coornavirus disease (Covid-19).
Pune district has recorded a total of 8,604 coronavirus infections, of which 5,203 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals while 383 have lost their lives.
“Of the deceased, about 87 per cent patients had comorbidities. So, in the seventh round of house-to-house surveys, we will focus exclusively on the elderly, those with comorbidities and pregnant women, and try to ensure that they are admitted to hospitals at the soonest if they show any symptoms,” said Pune Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad.
According to Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar, early detection was crucial in Covid-19 cases. “I have written to all the municipal commissioners 12 days ago to undertake a survey on senior citizens with comorbid conditions. As far as clinical management is concerned, the treatment is being followed as per protocols and the Covid task force is reviewing the cases,” said Mhaisekar.
He said more than 5,000 patients have recovered and been discharged and over 3,000 persons with Covid-19 are being treated across hospitals.
Meanwhile, the PMC chief said he has been discussing the possibility of keeping asymptomatic Covid-19 patients in isolation at home instead of hospitalising them. He said as per guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), asymptomatic patients of Covid-19 do not have to be hospitalised and the municipal body was looking at the possibility of taking such a stance.
Currently, all Covid-19 patients, even the asymptomatic ones, are treated at hospitals.
“…We are holding discussions with political representatives in the city… on this issue… we want local residents to be less worried because in many cases, the disease is not any different than the flu. But some political leaders believe that if Covid-19 patients are treated at home, it will create panic among residents, especially in slum areas,’ said Gaikwad.
Divisional Commissioner Mhaisekar said although ICMR guidelines allow patients to be kept in isolation in their residences, the state government has not yet formulated a policy decision regarding this.
District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said experts were brainstorming on how to cut down mortality rate among Covid-19 patients. “We have started a review and found that majority of the cases are being detected early and only 12 per cent include those who succumbed within one or two days of the diagnosis,” said the district collector.
He, however, expressed hope that the cases will not rise much in the district’s rural areas as the number of persons travelling from Mumbai, which has seen over 1,000 new cases every day, and Pune, which also sees hundreds of new cases per day, has decreased. “The system of contact tracing is effective in rural parts of Pune and we can prevent the spread of the disease,” Ram said while addressing a press conference online on Thursday.
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