Amid warning of a third wave likely to start by July across the state, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now directed all the ward officers to reactivate the general physician in the slum areas and give them training to handle patients with Covid symptoms to curb the spread of virus.
There are more than 300 general physicians in the slum areas with whom meetings are being conducted on ward level. Civic officials said these general physicians or family doctors are close to people staying in slum areas and they know everyone personally following which the civic body has asked them to shift any moderate or severe symptomatic Covid patients to the hospital or jumbo centres. Moreover, the line of treatment should be decided by the State Covid-19 task force.
Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner (AMC) said they are taking all necessary steps to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus in slums. They have asked the ward officers to hold meetings with the general physician in the respective slums of their wards and alert them about the third wave and what measures should be taken to curb cases.
“Everyone is working together to curb the cases across Mumbai, especially in the slum areas, which was the hot-spot in the first wave. After proper restrictions, cases were controlled in the second wave. We need to follow the same protocols so that when the third wave starts, cases don't rise in the slums. We have reactivated all the general physicians,” he said.
Kakani further said there are 300-350 general physicians in the slum areas. These GPs are closely connected with everyone so it will be easy for them to create awareness. They know the population of the respective slums and which diseases or comorbidities the residents have.
“We have directed the general physicians to follow the line of treatment decided by the state task force members for treating Covid patients. Patients who have severe symptoms should be immediately shifted to Covid hospitals or jumbo centres for the treatment,” he added.
Health experts have welcomed the move. The Covid numbers have dropped below 1,500 over the past two weeks. Now, reactivating family doctors or general physicians is a good idea as it will cover most of the population in slum areas and timely treatment will be provided.