Even though the chase the virus through tracing, tracking, testing and treatment has helped curb spread of Covid-19 pandemic in Mumbai and couple of other districts, the Union Health Secretary Lav Agarwal at the virtual meeting with CM Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said the state can emerge as a role model for others if the same drive is continued with few more initiatives.
Agarwal emphasised the need for institutional quarantine, jumbo facilities and detection to reduce the cases and fatality rate.
Agarwal suggested that house-to-house visits should be continued while paying more attention to those who are still active patients. Further, 80% of the patient's contacts should be traced and tested within 72 hours and some new hotspots should be closely monitored. He emphasised the need to further bring down the mortality rate in the state. ‘’Elderly and those with other illnesses should come to the hospital early. This is necessary as generally the elderly people avoid coming to the hospitals and then when the condition becomes serious, they admit which may increase the death rate,’’ he noted.
He said that in 11 districts the mortality rate is more than the state’s average rate of 3.47%. He called upon the state government to focus on 10 major districts where 79% of coronavirus patients were found last week. He suggested the state government bring down mortality rate in the 10 districts including Pune (2.37%), Thane (2.72%), Mumbai (5.50%), Nashik (2.82%), Aurangabad (1.97%), Kolhapur (2.53%), Raigad (2.78%) Palghar (1.93%), Jalgaon (4.51%), and Ahmednagar (1.19%). At the all India level the fatality rate is 2.07%.
He said there was a need to reduce the prevalence of corona infection among health workers in Maharashtra as compared to the rest of the country. In the country, it is 7% and in Maharashtra, it is 21% on average. He informed that at present, an analysis of patients who have died in Maharashtra shows that 17.9 percent of deaths in the age group of 45 to 59 are due to other diseases. Between the age group of 60 and 74, 29.70 percent of deaths are due to other diseases and 40 percent of deaths are due to other diseases in the age group of 75 and above.
Thackeray directed the district administration to pay more attention to the containment areas and focus on bringing down the mortality rate.
Meanwhile, Minister of Public Health Rajesh Tope announced that the government has formed flying squads to check the inflated bills charged by the private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients. This was necessary despite the state government’s directives issued since may it has received complaints with regard to private hospitals overcharging the coronavirus patients.
Tope informed that the flying squads will have to check whether or not the private hospitals are following the government directives. They will also have to check private hospitals properly to display government decisions and notifications.
The flying squads will also check that rates charged for ambulances and private vehicles not inflated but as per the government directives. They will also supervise that the private hospitals are providing cashless service to patients covered under the state insurance scheme- the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana.