Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started categorizing travelers arriving in the city from foreign countries into three groups, to ease the process of testing and quarantine for Coronavirus prevention.
The move is to enable the BMC's health department to decide on who needs to be quarantined at a hospital and who can be isolated at home.
BMC's Deputy Executive Health officer Dr. Daksha Shah explained that people coming from affected countries and those showing symptoms like fever, cough and cold are being classified as Category A and sent directly for isolation and testing to the Kasturba Hospital.
Those with no symptoms but having co-morbid conditions and are senior citizens are classified as Category B, while those with a travel history and no symptoms are Category C.
Dr. Shah told the Free Press Journal, “Our major concern is the category B patients who are old and high risk. We are admitting Category B patients to the quarantine facility and taking their swabs.
The Category C people are screened and home quarantined after necessary counselling. These people in home quarantine are supposed to be that way for next 14 days. Teams at ward level follow up with them till the end of their home quarantine period.”
Speaking to media persons on Monday Dr Shah had informed that total 24 doctors have been posted in three shifts at the Seven Hills facility at Marol to monitor those in quarantine.
The number of infected cases in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) has increased to 14 from nine on Tuesday.
As part of the community surveillance, 1,067 BMC teams across 24 wards have visited 10,027 housing societies and 254 individual households. The objective is to look for any patients with travel history or similar symptoms, create awareness, dispel myths and make people aware of precautions.
However all these 1067 teams are visiting only non slum housing societies. This has raised questions on BMC's preparations in slums/chawls in the event of possible cases.
"So far we are targeting only non slum areas as they are in high risk category. Most of the people in these areas have returned from a foreign trip, from affected foreign countries. Meanwhile, those in slums are low risk areas for us currently," said a senior BMC official.