21 leprosy patients undergo Covid-19 treatment at reserved facility at jumbo centre in Pune
Patients were found during a contact tracing programme at the Dr Bandorawalla Government Leprosy Hospital which is also a rehabilitation centre for leprosy patientsUpdated: Oct 18, 2020, 16:13 IST
The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) jumbo facility is currently treating about 21 leprosy patients who have tested positive for Covid-19. To ensure safe treatment, the civic body has reserved 40 beds for these patients as more might come following the contact tracing process.
Dr Shreyas Kapale, medical officer, jumbo facility at College of Engineering, Pune (COEP), said, “The entire block has been reserved for leprosy patients who have tested positive for the Sars-Cov-2 virus which causes the Covid-19 infection.”
“These patients are ‘healed’ so they are not infectious. They have deformities as their fingers and toes are missing which makes it difficult to take saturation levels like in case of a normal patient using a pulse oximeter. So, we have to correlate the heart rate, consciousness level and respiration rate factors,” he said.
The 21 patients were found during a contact tracing programme at the Dr Bandorawalla Government Leprosy Hospital which is also a rehabilitation centre for leprosy patients.
A senior official requesting anonymity said, “Initially we had four patients who could not find a hospital bed due to their deformities. After being denied admission, the patients were admitted at the jumbo facility following the intervention from additional commissioner. After the four patients were admitted, we traced contacts and found more patients who might have come in contact at the rehabilitation centre.”
About 128 leprosy patients were screened during the contact tracing process, of which 17 more patients were found positive.
Dr Kapale said that the medication for leprosy and Covid-19 do not interfere in the treatment process. The staff for the block is different and they do not mingle with the other employees.
Additional commissioner Rubal Agarwal said, “We will provide all required Covid-19 treatment for people suffering from leprosy.”