Mumbai: The BMC plans to decongest hospitals swamped with patients. Nearly 80 per cent of Covid patients admitted to hospitals are asymptomatic, so it is proposed to shift them to Covid care centres (CCCs).
Health officials said there has been a change in the discharge policy, to ensure that intensive care beds which are in short supply will be available to those who need them. This move comes in the wake of the BMC's struggle to increase the beds in Covid and CHC hospitals as well as bolster staff and doctor’s strength.
As per the guidelines issued by the Central government, the BMC has set up a three-tier care system, which includes Dedicated Covid hospitals (DCHs), followed by Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHCs) and Covid care centres (CCC).
Civic officials said there has been a change in the discharge policy and based on this, if patients recover in a DCH, they could be moved to CCCs, which are divided into two types CCC1 (in hotels, lodges, halls, newly constructed buildings; these don’t have round-the clock medical care) and CCC2 (government centres with doctors and nurses 24x7). A change in discharge policy will help to optimise use of Covid hospitals and facilities.
It will help us prioritise treatment and keep hospital facilities ready for those who need them the most, he said. According to the doctor, after treatment for five days, viral shedding is exceptionally low, and it cannot be transmitted to other people. As per the records with the BMC more than 80 per cent of covid patients are asymptomatic.
The intention is to reduce the burden on hospitals and the mortality rate. The patients will be looked after by healthcare professionals and, at the same time, symptomatic, serious patients will get more attention," said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health).
Doctors from civic hospitals said the system would help new patients get timely treatment. The number of those cured is far below that of new patients. In the last seven days, the number of patients has increased by 250 to 300 per day, but the number of beds has not increased.
“Even the rate of discharged patients has not increased much, with only 134 having been discharged in the last eight days. So, theoretically, 1,188 beds are vacant while the number of positive patients has increased by 2112,” he said.
The new policy also provides for institutional quarantine, referred to as CCC1, where people with high-risk contacts but asymptomatic, are placed. The number of such people increased to 5,069 from 3,543 on April 18.
The BMC has also decided to discharge high-risk contacts from CCC1s if, after seven days, their test reports are negative, and stamp them as 'home quarantined'. High-risk contacts will be housed at CCC1s and asymptomatic Covid patients at CCC2s.
“We don’t provide any treatment to people (high risk contacts) at CCC1s, but we will shift those who are symptomatic and also those who test negative, to other facilities,” said an official.