With senior citizens and people with co-morbidities constituting most of the Covid-19 deaths in the past few days, the Delhi health department has directed all district officials to ensure home isolation for vulnerable patients is allowed only after a thorough medical examination.

On Thursday, HT reported that there were 97 Covid deaths reported in the national capital between January 9 and January 12, out of which 71 were found to be above 40 years of age and had some kind of co-morbidities.

A senior health department official said that looking at the fatalities over the last few days, district officials have been asked to ensure that the vulnerable sections that test positive for Covid-19 are put in the government’s “priority list” and home isolation for these patients is allowed only after a complete medical examination.

“We have been stressing that senior citizens, co-morbid patients, pregnant women and unvaccinated people, are at risk and while the Omicron symptoms are usually mild and do not require hospitalisation in a healthy, below 60-year-old adult, these sections are at risk. We have asked our teams at the district level to be extra vigilant of cases in this category,” said the official.

A district official said that once a patient tests positive and the information is received by their office, a team visits the patient to assess their health status. Their vitals, existing medical conditions and medication history are assessed and accordingly, the patient is given a go-ahead to continue home isolation or advised to be shifted to a hospital or a Covid care centre. During the home isolation period, officials said government teams routinely monitor the health of the patient and, if needed, they are also provided with phone consultations with doctors.

Data shared earlier by the government also showed this segment being at risk. The Delhi government said that of the 46 patients who died due to Covid-19 in the city between January 5 and 9, 21 were admitted for other reasons before they were detected as infected with coronavirus.

In all, 34 patients had comorbid conditions known to raise the risk of severe Covid-19, and 23 (50%) of the deaths were recorded within a day of the patients being admitted, suggesting their condition was already critical when they received medical attention.

The health department had also issued a special advisory on Tuesday, directing all government and private Covid hospitals to ensure that all patients with co-morbidities are duly attended to by specialists and they are treated with extra care.

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