In Kolkata, where the outbreak of COVID-19 has still not reached the level of other metros but the number of cases is climbing steadily, healthcare providers are encouraging patients with mild symptoms to seek treatment from home.
Coronavirus, July 1 updates
Several hospitals have also come up with attractive home-care packages for asymptomatic patients and who show mild to moderate symptoms. These hospitals will remote-monitor the patients and bring them over for admission if their condition worsens.
The idea is to prevent overcrowding in hospitals in a situation when many doctors believe the worst is yet to come. At present, in West Bengal, more than 600 cases are being detected daily — a steep climb from about 100 only two weeks ago — and a chunk of them are reported from Kolkata.
State Helpline numbers for COVID-19
Advertisements by hospitals
“Now that the government has allowed patients [with mild or moderate symptoms] to get treated at home, somebody has to step in to meet their needs,” said Dr. Rahul Jain, a top internal medicine specialist in the city, commenting on the advertisements put out by various hospitals offering home-care.
“This is going to take the burden off the healthcare system because the number of cases is going to be huge, very huge,” Dr. Jain, who is attached to the Bellevue Clinic, told The Hindu. At the moment, he is himself monitoring the condition of about 15 patients who are getting treated at home. “The other day, a 20-year-old girl who had tested positive wanted to get admitted. When I asked her how high her fever was, she said 99 degrees. I told her to just stay home,” he said.
Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India
This move should come as a big relief to people who, until now, did not fear the virus so much as they did the procedure that followed the detection. Now the hospitals make things look easier. The advertisement of the Woodlands Hospital, for example, which is being shared widely on social media, looks like a holiday package at the first glance. On a closer look one realises that the various packages on offer are for COVID-19 patients seeking treatment from home: ₹4,500 for “home care”, ₹8,500 for “advanced home care” and ₹16,000 for “complete home care”.
A virus-monitoring kit
Medica Superspecialty Hospital, too, is offering home-care service that costs ₹500 a day — this is besides a COVID-monitoring kit that comes for ₹5,000. Bellevue Clinic, it is learned, is also coming up with a similar service.
State-wise tracker for coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates
Such packages create a win-win situation. While the hospitals can make a decent income while preventing themselves from being overrun by the positive cases, patients can get treated in the comfort of their homes — without losing sight of their loved ones and without shelling out a fortune.