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Many elderly who got home treatment reaching hospitals too late: Andhra officials

Andhra Pradesh is witnessing a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths. The case count in the state has gone up from 14,515 on June 30 to 64,713 on July 22.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
Updated: July 23, 2020 2:31:45 am
Between July 1 and July 22, there have been 630 deaths in the state— 489 of them between July 13 and July 22. (File)

A large section of elderly people in Andhra Pradesh who opted for home treatment after testing positive for Covid-19 are becoming severely sick and reaching hospitals too late, making it difficult to revive them, according to senior health officials in the state.

Andhra Pradesh is witnessing a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths. The case count in the state has gone up from 14,515 on June 30 to 64,713 on July 22. Between July 1 and July 22, there have been 630 deaths in the state— 489 of them between July 13 and July 22. Dr Arja Srikant, the state nodal officer for Covid-19, told The Indian Express that 90 per cent of those dead were in the age group of 55-65 years. “A large number of elderly people who are infected are reaching hospitals at a very late stage and we are unable to save them. They are opting for home treatment, both through supervision by doctor and home remedies, and a number of them are becoming extremely sick. They are reaching hospitals at a very critical stage and even if they are put on ventilators, they are dying, especially those with comorbidities,’’ Dr Srikant said.

Dr Srikant said there has been a spike in the number of cases both among the young and the elderly after lockdown restrictions were relaxed. “The number of elderly people getting infected is increasing because youngsters in the house are not taking precautions. They roam around without observing social distancing etc, and infect the elderly at home. Those with pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable.”

According to officials, approximately 60 per cent of positive cases in the state now are in the 15-45 years age group and about 25 per cent in the 45-60 years age group—this was less than 10 per cent during the lockdown.

In Kurnool, which has 7,797 cases and the highest toll of 130 in the state, District Medical and Health Officer Dr Rama Giddayya said 115 of those who died were elderly persons with comorbidities. “Many of them opted for treatment at home, but did not consult doctors regularly or tried self-medication and became severely sick. By the time they reach hospitals, their condition is irreversible. Still, with the help of ventilators, we are saving many lives.”

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