Coronavirus in Mumbai: Communicating with patients producing results for BMC

Although the rising fatality rate due to coronavirus pandemic in Mumbai is a matter of concern, the Task Force appointed by the Maharashtra Government observed that the city is sitting on a plateau in June. Daily positive cases are steady between 1000 and 1200, admissions have stabilised, there are vacant beds even in KEM hospital and there is no longer pressure to commission a ward every alternate day. This is despite more than 2 weeks of unlock.

According to the Task Force, reaching out to the patient is working. BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) initiative of reaching out to the patient right from communicating to him that he has tested positive, to getting him checked for symptoms, to organising a bed at appropriate level care centre/hospital, to transporting him. This has stabilised very well.

Indian College of Physicians Dean Dr Shashank R Joshi told FPJ, ‘’ Our doubling time has improved till date and many hotspots are doing well, aggressive test, trace, isolation policy is a must to prevent a second peak. Currently, we have possibly bent the curve and need to reduce mortality by focusing on the sick, hospitalised and vulnerable groups aggressively to save lives.’’

Further, the Task Force member, who did not want to be named, said SARS-CoV2 is transmitted primarily through infected droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, or talking. Hence social distancing & wearing masks are the most important advisories to follow. It also spreads by touching contaminated surfaces & then by touching their face, nose, eyes. (contact transmission). Therefore, the advisory of washing hands & using sanitizers every time you touch an unknown surface.

‘’The virus spreads through aerosol transmission, where infected droplet mixes with air forming aerosols and a high dose of these are inhaled in a relatively closed environment. This is why the advisory of avoiding air-conditioned public spaces needs to be taken more seriously than it currently is,’’ he noted.

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