Mumbai: During a survey conducted across Mumbai’s slums to trace senior citizens with comorbidities -- one or more diseases that occur along with another condition in the same person at the same time -- 400 teams formed by the BMC health department found over 4,000 such cases in two days. In a follow-up action, those found with a low level of oxygen in their blood will be shifted to non-Covid hospitals for precautionary treatment.
The decision to survey senior citizens with comorbidities, who live in slums, came after civic data of Covid cases and deaths showed that senior citizens with comorbidities, including diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory disease and kidney ailments, are at increased risk of contracting the virus, officials said.
For this purpose, the BMC formed 400 teams of the National Social Service and community health volunteers (or Asha workers). These teams are conducting a door-to-door survey in the designated areas. The BMC officials will be visiting every household and prepare a database of senior citizens.
Officials are checking whether they are taking proper medication for their health issues. If not, they will be sent to the nearest dispensary and a record of the same will be kept and followed up by the concerned team, said a senior official from the BMC health department.
“Currently, our teams have completed a door-to-door survey and screening of senior citizens in 31,872 households in slums. These teams advised them to make sure that they report to a health facility if their condition deteriorates or they face any health issues," said a senior official from the health department.
The survey began on April 23. Of the 31,872 houses in the slums, surveyed in two days, the teams found 4,312 senior citizens with comorbidities. Of these, 104 were found to be having 95 per cent and lower oxygen levels in their blood. A senior BMC official said,
"The teams are given pulse oximeter to check the oxygen level. If the oxygen level is less than 95 per cent, or any person with multiple chronic ailments and no treatment is found, they will be referred to non-Covid hospitals for oxygen therapy and other treatments. We will be doing this phase-wise, depending on the seriousness.
Currently, we have decided to refer 104 people, who were found with lower oxygen level to non-Covid hospitals for oxygen therapy. The remaining lot will be monitored, and their family members will be made aware of the precautions they must take in the wake of the pandemic.
They will be sent to non-Covid hospitals, if required, in the later phase.” The civic body has reserved 300 non-Covid beds in the BMC and peripheral hospitals across the city, and around 100 such beds at State-run JJ hospital for senior citizens with comorbidities.