COVID-19 | Thiruvananthapuram Corporation to provide doorstep medical service for asymptomatic patients

People wait for COVID-19 antigen tests, amid the ongoing second wave of coronovirus pandemic, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on May 4, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

With many COVID-19 asymptomatic patients now in home quarantine than in hospitals or first line treatment centres, the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation is set to deploy medical teams to check on them at their homes and also make available telemedicine facilities.

According to officials of the civic body, this is the first time that a local body in the State is putting up such a system to doorstep medical service. The city corporation is using its team of doctors from the urban Primary Health Centres under its control for the initiative, which is meant to address the concerns of asymptomatic patients and to reduce the load on the hospitals, where beds are filling up fast.

"Each medical team will have a doctor, a pharmacist, a nurse and a lab technician. A slightly larger team will be stationed at the COVID-19 control room in the Corporation's main office for telemedicine support. If we get ten calls at the control room for medical support, probably ten of them would want a doctor to visit them directly. However, some of these cases can be handled by the telemedicine team. In cases where a direct visit is required, our medical team will visit their houses," says Binu Francis, Secretary of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation.

But, the Corporation's health wing is also foreseeing practical difficulties while implementing this on the ground, especially with regard to the COVID-19 protocols for doctors and others who can come into contact with a COVID-19-positive patient.

"As per the protocol, they have to wear PPE kits when meeting the patients. Once the meeting is done, they have to remove the PPE kit, disinfect it and disinfect the vehicle they are travelling in. This could limit the number of cases that can be taken up in a day. In a hospital, where the doctors can attend to several COVID-19 patients in the space of four or five hours, here they need to change the PPE kit after meeting each patient," says a health wing official.

With an aim to expand the medical team, the Corporation has also given a call for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, physiotherapists and those who have completed health inspector diploma courses. Senior doctors have been providing training sessions for the medical teams at the Corporation for the past two days.

"We have just started off the operations of the medical teams. It is expected to become full swing by next week. Some of the doctors who were to be deployed as part of this had tested positive and gone into quarantine. Now, we are using the available doctors on a rotation basis," says K.S. Reena, Chairperson of the Corporation's Education Standing Committee, who is co-ordinating the activities of the medical team.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 1:04:41 AM |

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