As a measure to bring down mortality due to Covid-19 and start early treatment, a digital platform at Pune Zilla Parishad has been reworked with two zoom calls daily, to ensure local doctors can receive expert advice from specialists in the district task force.
Dr Amol Kolhe, Shirur Lok Sabha MP, said there were challenges in effective two-way communication. At least 25-30 per cent Covid-19 patients in Pune urban areas are from rural parts. They lose precious time as they try to avail treatment in city-specific hospitals, and hence, a doctor advisory digital system has been launched to manage patients mainly in rural areas, Dr Kolhe told The Indian Express.
Covid cases are on the rise in rural areas in the district, with 700-750 testing positive daily, and over 600 deaths having been reported.
When contacted, Ayush Prasad, CEO of Pune ZP, said the state digital platform has been extensively used for teleconsultations for a host of programmes, and video links have been shared with rural hospitals, sub-district hospitals, women’s hospitals and other medical facilities. However, there are several lacunae, as video calls do not get recorded, while doctors in rural areas find it difficult to share documents or patients’ reports.
Sudhir Mehta, president-elect of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce and Industries, has been heading the volunteer group Pune Platform for Covid Response for the last six months, aiming to coordinate with government agencies and private hospitals. He said the focus was to work with several hospitals treating Covid patients, and on bringing down the case fatality rate in Pune district.
“We have worked on seven to eight initiatives, including the availability of ventilators and PPE kits, among others,” Mehta said. “Several webinars have been held with the state task force, with Pune doctors discussing clinical practices. The daily digital platform will now ensure availability of expert doctors so medicos in rural areas can get a second opinion, as they may not have handled the complexity of cases seen in urban areas.”
‘State considering involving PG (medical) students in Covid duty’
Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said that availability of trained medical personnel, nurses and health assistants is a challenge Pune is facing. He said he is hopeful of the government nod to their proposal to involve PG (medical) students (after their exams on September 15) in Covid duty.
“We have made a request to the government that PG students, as soon as they are free from their exams on September 15, should be allowed to be roped in Covid management – they will be compensated and their duty during this period can be deducted from their serving bond period,” he said. “In Pune, there are more than 600 PG students, and it will be a big help if the government takes this decision.”
Rao said the “situation is very tight” and that the focus is also on adjoining districts of the Pune division, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur, and that infrastructure is being ramped up in these areas.
“We don’t have to set up additional facilities here, as some constructed locations can be reconverted into dedicated Covid care centres,” he said.
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