The Greater Chennai Corporation has launched an initiative wherein it would loan pulse oximeters to some of the people placed in home quarantine to measure oxygen saturation levels at regular intervals.
The state civic body would target those above 50 years with comorbidities and who are most vulnerable to Covid-19. The focus is mostly on people in low-income groups who may not have the device or the resources to buy them.
The corporation would loan the device for 10 days and collect it back after proper sanitation.
Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) Commissioner Gagan Singh Bedi said, “During a study we have found that the high-income group people in the corporation have already bought pulse oximeters or have the resources to buy one if they test positive for Covid-19, but the position of people in the low-income groups is not like this and hence we have chalked out this project.”
The corporation is receiving contributions from several quarters including the CSR support of many corporates, Bedi added.
He said, “We have requested them to buy pulse oximeters in large numbers and almost all our field survey workers have pulse oximeters now and we have decided to loan surplus devices to those who need but cannot afford to buy it.”
On Thursday, the city recorded 28,186 active Covid cases and almost 70 per cent of them are placed under home quarantine. According to the present Covid-19 protocol, once a person tests positive for the infection, a field triaging team will reach his/her house to assess the symptoms and measure the oxygen saturation level.
If admission or further tests are required, the Covid-19 positive patient will be taken to the hospital or Covid care centre while the others who do not show grave symptoms will remain in home quarantine.
The tele-counselling centres of the corporation would monitor the patient’s health over the phone by making at least a call each day. Equipping people in home quarantine with pulse oximeters will enhance the surveillance and reduce the delay between worsening of symptoms and admission to Covid care centres as periodic monitoring of the oxygen saturation level will help understand the gravity of the case and if required to admit the patient without any delay to hospitals or Covid care centres.