Mumbai: Private doctors to help contain COVID-19 infection spike in Dadar, Mahim

Updated: 16 September, 2020 07:30 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

BMC says it will collect data of patients visiting private doctors with COVID symptoms, as G North ward residents are reluctant to visit testing camps

A medic collects swabs at Saibaba temple, Sundar Nagar, Dadar West on Tuesday. Pics/Suresh Karkera
A medic collects swabs at Saibaba temple, Sundar Nagar, Dadar West on Tuesday. Pics/Suresh Karkera

BMC is also bracing for resistance from the residents of high-rises, who are not willing to be screened by the outsiders. And in Dadar and Mahim, where residents are visiting private doctors instead of going for free tests, the civic body has reached out to 180 private practitioners, from whom it will collect data.

After their efforts to tackle the troubling surge in COVID-19 cases in residential areas, like Dadar and Mahim, received a lukewarm response, G North ward officials have decided to rope in private practitioners for help. Adopting the strategy that helped bring down the numbers in Dharavi, civic officials are reaching out to 180 private doctors to collect data on vulnerable and symptomatic patients.

The move is part of the state government's campaign, My Family My Responsibility. BMC officials said they decided to tie-up with private practitioners because the public is reluctant to get tested. "We are setting up free testing camps, and a testing facility at Kohinoor parking premises was opened for all. But people are refusing to come, and are instead going to their general practitioners," said an official from G North ward.

People are being tested for COVDI-19 at Ram Mandir in police lane, Mahim West, on Saturday
People are being tested for COVDI-19 at Ram Mandir in police lane, Mahim West, on Saturday

Adopting Dharavi model

In Dharavi, where the cases have now dropped to less than 10 days, BMC was able to contain the spread of COVID-19 by taking the help of around 350 private practitioners to screen the population, the official said. They will now use the same system in Dadar and Mahim where the number of infections jumped as restrictions were relaxed further.

Kiran Dighavkar, the assistant municipal commissioner of G North ward, said the idea was presented to the civic chief on Tuesday and the work on implementation is underway. "To effectively screen the population residing in buildings, we will coordinate with private doctors and collect data on patients with COVID-19-related symptoms or those who are high-risk contacts. This will help us understand the spread of the infection," he added, adding that they are creating WhatsApp groups for each locality with all private doctors.

Special focus on sr. citizens

Meanwhile, teams of health officials and volunteers from health posts will conduct door-to-door screening. Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said they will focus more on senior citizens to bring down the COVID-19 mortality rate. "The volunteers will collect names, take temperature and oxygen readings of senior citizens, especially if they have co-morbidities. The teams will visit them twice a month, and share the information with COVID-19 ward control rooms and health posts to ensure smooth access to health facilities when needed," he said.

Kakani said each team will have to cover 50-100 homes daily. In G North alone, there are 1.20 lakh households and 163 teams will screen around 6 lakh residents. So far, there are over 3,000 cases in Dadar and 2,782 in Mahim, and 2,954 in Dharavi. There are 493 active cases in Mahim, 466 in Dadar and only 144 in Dharavi.

No. of private doctors BMC has ties up with

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First Published: 16 September, 2020 07:05 IST

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