Mumbai: Focus on senior citizens to curb spread of COVID-19

Updated: Jul 29, 2020, 07:52 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Since April, the civic body has been checking the oxygen levels of elderly citizens as they are at higher risk of contracting the virus

A senior citizen's oxygen level is checked at Dharavi. Pics/Suresh Karkera and Ashish Raje
A senior citizen's oxygen level is checked at Dharavi. Pics/Suresh Karkera and Ashish Raje

In an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had begun focusing on senior citizens, an age group at risk for the disease, since April. They had begun checking the oxygen levels of senior citizens across the city, a task they are still handling. So far, the BMC has checked the oxygen levels of 6,74,053 senior citizens. Of these, 6,71,312 people had normal or high oxygen levels. Only 2,471 had oxygen levels below 95.

Teams in every ward
"Particular attention was paid to those with low levels of oxygen. They were referred to COVID Care Centres if required. They are also being isolated before the symptoms appear, so there are not many problems during the treatment. The BMC has set up a monitoring team in each ward to monitor people with low levels of oxygen," said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, director of the major BMC hospitals.

At Mahim
At Mahim

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, told mid-day, "BMC teams went door-to-door to check the oxygen level of senior citizens, due to which it was easier to find and treat people whose oxygen level was below 95. With this, we have successfully prevented the spread of the COVID-19 virus among senior citizens."

Also Read: Mumbai Police asked to go easy on 'needy' citizens

Citizens' speak
Babaji Shinde, 65, a resident of Lower Parel, was also checked by BMC. Shinde said, "BMC workers came to my building and checked the oxygen levels of all the
senior citizens."

Kusum Singh, 61, said, "I did not get out of my house during the entire lockdown. I told this to the staff of BMC, still they checked my oxygen level for precaution."

Normal reading

Normal pulse oximeter readings range from 95 per cent to 100 per cent. Levels under 90 per cent are considered low.

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