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To get early treatment for co-morbid patients, PCMC seeks help from housing societies, senior citizens’ groups

On Monday evening, a 62-year-old woman who suffered from diabetes, hypertension and renal problems died at Command Hospital in Pune. She had tested positive for COVID-19 the same day.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune | Published: April 21, 2020 11:03:00 pm
Pune coronavirus, Pune coronavirus cases, Pimpri-Chinchwad coronavirus cases, Pune containment zones, Pimpri-Chinchwad containment zones, Pune news, city news, Indian Express Over 80 per cent of COVID-19-related deaths in India are due to co-morbidity, according to analysis by both state and central government. (Express photo/Arul Horizon)

A DAY after Pimpri-Chinchwad reported its second COVID-19 death of a co-morbid patient, Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said the civic body has decided to involve all senior citizens’ organisations and residential societies across the city in collecting data on those who have pre-existing illnesses. Co-morbid patients or those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension are in the ‘high-risk’ category of COVID-19 patients. Over 80 per cent of COVID-19-related deaths in India are due to co-morbidity, according to analysis by both state and central government.

On Monday evening, a 62-year-old woman who suffered from diabetes, hypertension and renal problems died at Command Hospital in Pune. She had tested positive for COVID-19 the same day. Last week, a middle-aged man had become the first patient to die of coronavirus in Pimpri-Chinchwad. He was also a co-morbid patient who suffered from a liver ailment. Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar told The Indian Express on Tuesday, “We will involve all cooperative residential societies as well as senior citizens’ organisations for collecting data regarding those who have pre-existing illnesses”.

“There are nearly 4,000 residential societies across the industrial city. We will ask their presidents and general secretaries to provide us with a number about those who suffer from pre-existing illnesses… I have already personally spoken to…. office-bearers and explained to them the need to track and treat such patients on priority,” he said.

“Senior citizens above the age of 60 are in high risk group. Therefore, we are also tracking them in a bid to monitor their help and get them early treatment,” said Hardikar.

“Once the data is in hand, we will try to home quarantine those with milder symptoms and seek institutional quarantine for those with severe symptoms. We are seeking the help of private doctors as well in providing treatment for such patients,” he said.

PCMC additional health chief Dr Pavan Salve said the civic body also needed participation of local residents in identifying and isolating co-morbid non-covid patients. “If co-morbid patients are treated for their illness on priority, their life can be saved. In the case of Sassoon Hospital, where a large number of deaths of co-morbid patients was reported, it seems they had sought treatment late. It seems like their family members did not seek medical treatment for such patients on priority. Therefore, citizens’ participation in our endeavour will be crucial as we too have our limitations vis-a-vis heavy requirement of manpower,” he said.

PCMC health chief Dr Anil Roy, whose team is involved in tracing high-risk contacts of COVID-19 patients, said the civic medical staff was already going door-to-door, surveying people suffering from symptoms such as cold, fever, cough and sore throat. “They are also collecting information about those suffering from diabetes, blood sugar or any other ailment,” he said.

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