Witnessing the rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and considering the crunch in hospital beds, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now working towards making the home-quarantine more reliable and comfortable for the patients.
Earlier this week, ward officers of multiple municipal wards that have a heavy case tally, held meetings with local public representatives and senior BMC officials to instill confidence among citizens on the treatment done at home and to ensure that, common Mumbaikars shouldn't rush towards hospitals with having minimum symptoms.
"In many wards, we have found out that patients are losing confidence on home quarantine treatment and are trying to book hospital beds unnecessarily," said a senior civic official.
"Which is why we have roped in municipal corporators and local resident associations to instill people's belief in home treatment," the official added.
Civic officials has directed all the local medical officers at ward level that under each doctor there should be 50 patients who are under home quarantine and the primary responsibility of the doctor will be following up the progress of health of the patients.
Earlier this week, Vinayak Vispute - additional municipal commissioner and incharge of H west (HW) ward which covers the Bandra west, Khar and Santacruze areas, held a video conference with local medical associations and have urged the doctors to formulate dedicate SOPs for patients at home quarantine.
"We are also checking up on rules to ensure asymptomatic positive patients living in societies don't roam around flouting norms," said Vispute.
Another civic official of K West (Andheri West, Juhu, Versova) said that local BMC officials are providing oxygen cylinders and nurses at the home of patient.
"If the condition of the patients is not very serious, then we are doing our best to make sure the person gets full treatment at home," said the official.
Suresh Kakani - additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of public health in the BMC has also said that even though the cases are rising, the number of serious patients is less in number.
"We have directed all the ward officials to deal with the situation as per requirement, many of them are appointing doctors who are checking up on patients regularly," said Kakani.
Alongside these, the BMC also said that in the Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) that are being conducted at various crowded patients, only the positive patients who stay in chawls or one room appartments are being transferred to quarantine centres, while those living in high rises and one or two BHK flats are being advised isolation at home.
"Those who have the option of home isolation should isolate themselves at home as there's no point in exhausting the infrastructure, now that cases are rising," Kakani said.
Congress corporator - Asif Zakaria has said that many patients from his constituency request him to get beds at hospitals as per their preference.
"The citizens also need to understand that this is a pandemic situation and they must get admitted wherever they get a bed," said Zakaria.
Prabhakar Shinde - BJP corporator and group leader of the party in BMC said that in order to provide better service the civic body should recruit more doctors.
"More than 40 percent of posts of health doctors are vacant if cases continue to rise, it will become too much pressure for each doctor, to handle so many patients," said Shinde.