A clinical trial of the fourth Though Covid-19 has taken a toll on Mumbaikars, the number of tuberculosis (Tb) patients detected with the virus is less than two per cent in the last 18 months. According to statistics, 25,303 TB patients took the Covid test, of which only 452 were tested positive and 37 patients died. Officials said that they had adopted the bilateral testing policy, following which, they are able to identify TB patients who have Covid.
Head of the TB control room in the BMC Dr Pranita Tipre said, many symptoms such as cough, fever, heaviness in chest, weakness in coronavirus and TB are similar. In such a situation, it was decided to carry out bilateral testing, through which they can identify TB patients with Covid symptoms.
“Luckily, there were not many TB patients who were diagnosed with Covid, which is a good sign and we are hoping it continues the same way even though the third wave hit the city. Moreover, people who succumbed had comorbidities,” she said. According to data analysed by Free Press Journal, last year as many as 13,155 TB patients were tested for the 2 virus, of which 298 tested positive, while 25 died. Similarly, between January and August this year, 12,148 were tested, of which 154 were positive and 12 died.
Former superintendent of a civic-run TB hospital in Sewri Dr Lalit Anande said, when the pandemic began, we feared that both Covid and TB disease would attack the lungs of the patients. In such a situation, the TB patient is more prone to this disease. “Very few TB patients have contracted the infection, which needs to be researched,” he said.
A senior doctor said many health campaigns have been badly affected due to the pandemic but the TB campaign has not been affected much.
Where 99,668 people were tested in 2020, out of which 17,000 had TB. At the same time, till August this year, 73,893 tests were done, of which 14,198 patients had TB.