Mumbai: Maharashtra State Surveillance Officer Dr Pradip Awate has mooted a community model of COVID-19 control. He has made a strong case for the preparation of a rural and urban level community pandemic plan.
‘’Looking at the data, we can see that over 70% of cases are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Those who need Oxygen (within or outside ICU) or ventilators are hardly 9-10% of the total active cases. This means that most patients can be treated in home isolation. For this, we as a society need to take a major responsibility by supporting patients in home isolation or in Covid Care Centres, in turn reducing the burden on hospitals so that those who need Oxygen and ICU treatment can avail the beds sooner,’’ said Dr Awate.
According to Dr Awate, at the village level, many houses do not have the space and luxury for a patient to isolate despite a mild illness. Therefore, small 2 Covid Care Centres (CCC) at the level of village can be created with the help of influential villagers.
‘’Village CCC can be established at the level of sub centre or other central locations of bigger villages such as marketplace, gram panchayat building. This way, 30-50 CCCs of 10-20 beds each can be started in each block. This way, 30-50 CCCs of 10-20 beds each can be started in each block while private hospitals, community temples, schools can be converted to CCCs. The atmosphere in these CCCs can be made lively by involving bhajans, group prayers, meditation and yoga sessions,’’ said Dr Awate.
In case of urban areas, Dr Aewate has suggested that there is a need to establish one Covid clinic per 25,000 population which means four Covid clinics per lakh population considering 550 patients per million. Covid oxygen clinics can be set up at any private clinic or club houses which will work 24x7. ‘’The decision about admission in this clinic will be taken based on the minimum required tests done of all home-isolated patients. Those who don’t need admission can recover in home isolation itself. These tests can be conducted by a local laboratory through tie-ups and/or effective coordination,’’ he noted.
An Oxygen concentrator or a basic Oxygen cylinder should be there in this clinic. Those home-isolated patients who need Oxygen can be stabilized until they get a bed in a hospital.
Further, Dr Awate has suggested that large housing societies with the help of residents who are doctors can start such a clinic in the club houses of these housing societies. There often are empty flats in urban housing societies and where there is not enough space in the house of a patient advised home isolation, these flats can be used for isolation.