One-third of Covid deaths a result of delay in admission or reporting: Maharashtra task forceUpdated: Jul 10, 2020 00:29 IST
As the city’s Covid toll crossed the 5,000-mark, members of the state task force said one-third of the deaths are due to late admission or late reporting of symptomatic cases, stressing the need to remove the social stigma attached to the virus for early detection.
Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the state Covid-19 task force, said, “While one of the primary causes of Covid deaths is co-morbidities, probably one-third of the Covid deaths in the city are due to delayed diagnosis of symptomatic cases or late admission, which delays treatment and reduces the chances of survival.”
“Covid is an unpredictable virus. Some of the most important symptoms we had seen were lack of smell and taste. Now, new symptoms such as backache, chills and severe pain in the calves have surfaced. An aggressive support system such as timely oxygen supply is very important. More effective medicines are available now. However, early detection and prompt treatment has a huge impact on the fatality rate.”
The city’s fatality rate as of Wednesday was 5.7%. The rise in Covid deaths initially was also because of mismanagement and unavailability of beds. “All patients should be treated as suspected Covid cases. Every hospital should be prompt in treatment, right from the time the patient is in ambulance to the hospital bed. Once they are sorted as Covid positives, they can be transferred to dedicated Covid centres. The patient should not be made to run around for Covid or non-Covid complications. This has reduced to an extent with the surplus beds for Covid patients.”
Daksha Shah, deputy executive health officer, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said, “In some cases, in which patients die within 24 hours of admission, they might have delayed seeking care due to fear of isolation or social stigma. It is utmost important to get care from the time the symptoms start to appear.”
Senior civic officials said the first 24 hours are very crucial for a symptomatic patient. They also said that in multiple cases, patients have hidden symptoms for days. Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health), said on Monday, “A major cause for concern among Covid-19 patients is the delay in reporting symptoms to the health centres. The first 24 hours since the start of symptoms are critical and immediate medical attention has helped. However, there are many cases where patients don’t tell their family members or seek medical treatment in time, which should not be the case.”
Experts emphasise on social awareness among residents of housing societies and slum areas to support families of Covid patients. Joshi said, “Residents of housing areas should cooperate and treat Covid patients in their society well, mentally as well as physically.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Mumbai reported 1,268 cases, taking the total to 89,124. The city saw 68 deaths, which took the toll to 5,132, according to the state health department data. A total of 957 patients recovered and were discharged on Thursday. A total of 60,195 patients have so far been treated and discharged. The city has 23,785 active cases.
According to BMC’s data, of the 68 deaths, three were of patients below 43 years of age, 22 were of patients above 60 years, and 22 were aged 40 to 60. The recovery rate in Mumbai has now gone up to 67%. The city’s doubling rate is 47 days. The total number of Covid tests done till Wednesday is 3.74 lakh.
Meanwhile, Dharavi reported nine new cases on Thursday. The number of total cases is 2,347, of which 1,815 patients have been discharged and 291 are active.