By M.T. Yogesh Kumar
Mysore/Mysuru: Mysuru is going micro to muscle out COVID-19, which has swamped the city overwhelmingly during the second wave. Taking a cue from Mumbai and Bengaluru models, the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) that has already begun house-to-house survey and health check-ups, has now launched two innovative strategies to tackle the virus spread — Micro Triage based on the principle of decentralisation and Reverse Isolation or Reverse Quarantine.
Under Micro Triage, the entire COVID tackling system will be decentralised and move to micro-level where the MCC is targeting over 70 to 80 Apartments and Group Housing Complexes where people, irrespective of being COVID-positive or negative, will be screened at their doorsteps and further advice is given.
MCC Commissioner Shilpa Nag and her team have come up with this new strategy where teams armed with pulse-oximetres, thermal guns and oxygen concentrators gain access into each Apartment and work in tandem with the residents to identify vulnerable population and give immediate treatment if need be.
Shilpa Nag told Star of Mysore that every Apartment Complex invariably has a doctor and some even have dispensaries. “We will identify those doctors and seek help to identify people who need medical attention. Generally the people living in Apartments are hesitant to go to COVID Mitras and other facilities. Also, many a times there are senior citizens who lead a lonely life in such Apartments. We want to reassure them that the administrative machinery is with them in times of crisis,” she said.
In this Micro Triaging system, ground staff will conduct tracing and monitoring of vitals like oxygen saturation and temperature, especially those without thermometers and pulse-oximetres at home.
If a person who tests positive and needs oxygen support at their homes, the MCC teams will provide the same. “In case a person’s condition is serious, he will be immediately triaged and referred to the War Room for bed allocation and further treatment. People who are already in isolation will be given Home Isolation Kits free of cost,” she explained.
Those who have tested positive can walk into the MCC team centres for physical triaging or stabilisation and this will ensure quicker response, localised decision-making. In the current system, if medical intervention is required, the MCC personnel will refer the patient to a hospital, Shilpa Nag added. Medical professionals residing in the Apartments will be requested to volunteer their services and help the civic body in screening patients for Micro Triaging.
Reverse Isolation to flatten COVID-19 curve
The Mysuru City Corporation will implement Reverse Quarantine or Reverse Isolation to expedite the process of flattening the COVID curve. Reverse quarantine is the practice of detaching the most vulnerable people from the family member who has tested positive for the virus. “People having underlying medical conditions, those aged 65 years and above and persons who are immune-compromised and children will be sequestered from their family members who have contracted the disease,” MCC Commissioner Shilpa Nag told SOM.
Vulnerable individuals should be separated even from their family members, who have high risk of exposure. “We have observed that in any family if one person is infected, the others too are getting infected increasing the case load and leading to deaths in Mysuru. We have decided to separate the un-infected from the house and accommodate them in various facilities within the city like hostels,” she said.
The idea of Reverse Isolation has been proposed to the MCC by Rotary and Citizens Forum of Mysuru. Once separated from the infected family member, the other members will be provided with medicine, food, counselling and other assistance. As the chances of silent spreaders remain high, the vulnerable group may easily get exposed to the infected family member, she said.
“They will be treated like a day-care centre where they will be housed at designated places and their routine, activity, food and medicines will be taken care of by the MCC. Detaching the most vulnerable group is essential as their chances of contraction of the virus are high and if that happens it will overburden the already overburdened city’s healthcare system,” the MCC Commissioner added.