Coronavirus Mumbai: BMC starts oxygen therapy to combat comorbidity

ST Staff
Monday, 1 June 2020

Since April 25, BMC has tested 2,42,653 senior citizens and identified more than 1,615 with blood oxygen levels below 95 per cent. 

While the country begins to open in a phased-out manner from the lockdown implemented since March 25, Mumbai, one of the worst affected cities in the country, gears up measures to reduce the mortality rate due to coronavirus. 

In the hope to combat the already low coronavirus related mortality rate and comorbidity, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are starting oxygen therapy for senior citizens. As observed from the civic body’s data, 67 per cent of COVID-19 related deaths majorly amount to people suffering from other ailments such as communicable and non-communicable diseases. These are also people above the age of 60 – 70. 

According to data, out of the 67 per cent who died due to comorbidity, 26 per cent had diabetes, 24 per cent had hypertension, and 32 per cent has both diabetes and hypertension. About 8 per cent of people lost to the novel coronavirus has heart ailments, and 10 per cent had other comorbidities.

Since April 25, BMC has tested 2,42,653 senior citizens and identified more than 1,615 with blood oxygen levels below 95 per cent. 

In the effort to identify people belonging to the high-risk group BMC arranged a team of 400 community health volunteers and Asha workers for a door-to-door survey of senior citizens, focusing on screening for COVID-19 and pulse oximeters. 

“This screening method is very important, as we have been able to identify more than 1,600 vulnerable senior citizens and successfully provide them with medical treatment at the right time. Our teams have visited around 14,07,726 houses and screened 2.42 lakh, senior citizens. Without this screening method, it would have been difficult to control the mortality rate in the age group of 60 years and above,” said Dr Daksha Shah, deputy director, BMC health department told HT Media.

The teams are also engaged in creating awareness about the COVID-19 and the risk for people with co-morbid conditions. 

Working on similar lines, Pune Municipal Corporation has also started screening and treating people in the high-risk group to ensure that we combat the mortality.

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