Coronavirus pandemic | Bengal govt will start visiting home-quarantined COVID-19 patients to check oxygen levels
The move aims to discourage mild coronavirus patients from occupying hospital beds as the number of cases keeps mounting
July 18, 2020 / 08:46 PM IST
The West Bengal government is already in possession of 2,000 oximeters – machines used to check the oxygen level of patients – and will soon be procuring another 10,000 units.
The state government plans to start door-to-door checks of home-quarantined COVID-19 patients to keep a tab on their oxygen levels. The move aims to discourage mild coronavirus patients from occupying hospital beds as the number of cases keeps mounting.
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According to a Hindustan Times report, primary healthcare workers, including ASHA workers, will be provided oximeters and thermal guns to conduct the exercise. As per guidelines, COVID-19 patients must be hospitalised if their oxygen saturation drops to 90 percent or below.
Commenting on the initiative, a senior West Bengal health department official said: “We have already procured around 2,000 oximeters. Another 10,000 will be procured. This is a new initiative we plan to start based on the advice of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with the hope of discouraging people from occupying hospital beds. The ASHA workers have been doing house-to-house surveys to detect ILI and SARI cases. Now they will also check oxygen levels.”
The dearth of hospital beds have become a frequent complaint amid rising coronavirus cases in India and several measures have been taken by respective state governments to reduce the burden. Safe houses and satellite health centres have so far ensured that hospital beds are available for critical patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms. Yet, people are anxious and want to get admitted to hospitals even if they are asymptomatic COVID-19 patients or have very mild symptoms.
To allay their concerns, Mamata Banerjee has already urged housing societies to purchase oximeters, while the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is looking to purchase the machines as well.Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here