Urban poor, rural population ill-prepared to deal with Covid at home: Survey
The poor in urban areas and those in rural India are not prepared to deal with Covid-19 at home, many did not have the basic medical equipment to check vital health parameters and also lacked awareness about the symptoms of the coronavirus disease, a survey conducted across 10 states has said.
The survey was conducted by Sambodhi Panels, an initiative of Sambodhi Research and Communications, between June 30 and July 11 in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan. It came just after the peak second wave of the pandemic and as several states eased Covid-19 restrictions. It also comes at a time when experts have warned of the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic.
The survey by the research organisation shows that among 7,116 households only around 20 per cent had thermometers and about 50 per cent had drugs available to treat symptoms like fever and headaches. "Only 9 per cent households had oximeters while a dismal 3 per cent had access to oxygen cylinders. Also, only 40 per cent of respondents were aware of medical suppliers/shops nearby to access in case they had COVID symptoms," Sambodhi Panels said in its survey.
According to the survey, people in the 10 states are largely uninformed about newer variants of the coronavirus and the symptoms associated with the disease.
The respondents also did not know when to take a person with Covid-19 to the hospital, the survey showed. About 35 per cent of the respondents said that patients should be hospitalised at the onset of the first symptom and 18 per cent were of the view that a Covid positive result was reason enough to get the person admitted to a hospital.
"It seems that there is a need to increase information dissemination among vulnerable sections of society on newer Covid variants, associated symptoms and recommended treatment protocols so that people take appropriate measures," Swapnil Shekhar, co-founder of Sambodhi, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Nearly respondents or 95 per cent were able to associate at least one of the early symptoms to Covid-19 such as fever, dry cough, difficulty in breathing and headaches. And only 18 per cent of them associated diarrhoea with Covid-19 and just 4 per cent and 2 per cent with conjunctivitis and skin rashes respectively.
However, the survey shows around 88 per cent knew about how to care for Covid-19 patients at home and 70 per cent of the respondents said they had arrangements for isolating Covid positive family members and 76 per cent said they would be able to arrange food for them.
(With ANI inputs)