A notice outside a primary health centre in Bengaluru on Friday. Due to an acute shortage of doses, such notices were a common sight at Covid vaccination centres across the city.
BENGALURU: The government has embarked on an ambitious mission of providing medical kits for Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms in home isolation.
Officials, on Friday, said the scheme has already been launched in select areas of Bengaluru and will soon be expanded to cover the entire state.
A cabinet sub-committee headed by deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan recently recommended providing free kits to Covid-19 patients recovering at home, considering the lack of hospital beds in the wake of rising cases.
The prime objective is to treat as many patients as possible without having to admit them in hospitals.
Experts and doctors had called for health authorities to monitor people in home isolation more closely, saying constant checks are needed to save lives.
A top virologist based in Bengaluru had pointed out that more people who are initially asymptomatic are dying, as reported by TOI on Friday. Symptoms suddenly accelerate in these cases and people very often seek treatment late.
However, the scheme to provide kits is a tad ambitious since it will require huge funding. As on Friday, Bengaluru Urban alone had more than 3.4 lakh active cases, 92% of whom are said to be in home isolation.
However, chief secretary P Ravi Kumar said resources will not be an issue as the scheme has been given top priority.
Funds have already been diverted from other departments to manage the pandemic and this money will be utilised for the purpose, he said. But he could not say precisely how much has been earmarked for the purpose.
“Orders have already been placed for materials required to make up home isolations kits and the scheme will be made effective across the state as soon as materials arrive,” said Kumar.
Deputy chief minister Narayan, who had launched the scheme on a pilot basis in Malleswaram, his constituency, said a home isolation kit would mainly contain basic Covid-19 medicines along with a handbook on advice for patients.
The government is trying to include an oximeter and thermometer, Narayan added.
“The government has been distributing medicines to patients in home isolation even last year. The new feature we are thinking of adding is regular blood tests. This is seen as important in order to ensure effective monitoring of their health condition,” Narayan said The blood test and haemogram will be done in primary health centres or fever clinics once in three days till the patient tests negative.