New Delhi, September 27
The Delhi government has so far provided 60,042 oximeters to home quarantined COVID-19 patients in the city to help them check their oxygen levels, according to official figures.
The Arvind Kejriwal government had in June announced to provide oximeters to the COVID-19 patients in home isolation with no symptoms or mild symptoms of the disease and facing breathing problems due to low oxygen levels.
“It was started with a view to be able to provide treatment and shift any such patients to hospital for medical care. Thousands of oximeters distributed by the government have saved many lives of patients in home isolation,” a senior government official said.
According to the latest government figures, a total of 60,042 oximeters have been distributed among COVID-19 patients spread across 11 districts. Most of the oximeters were provided to patients in West (7,504), Central (7,050), South West(6,953), North West (6,656) and East (5,925) districts.
Oximeters are devices used to measure oxygen level in blood. With a drop in blood oxygen level, patients feel problem in breathing and need to be admitted to hospitals if their oxygen saturation drops to 90 per cent or below (normal is 95-100 per cent).
“As per need, each day around 40 to over 100 COVID-19 patients are provided with oximeters in each district. Since home isolation patients are in touch with district medical officers, these devices help provide interventions like oxygen concentrators or hospital shifting of patients, if needed,” the official said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier termed pulse oximeters as ”suraksha kavach” (protective shield) for COVID-19 patients and credited the device with minimising deaths of patients under home isolation in Delhi.
The government has also started providing oximeters to COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals and recuperating at home, as problems like breathlessness persist in some despite being having tested negative for the infection, the official said.
According to official records, 41 novel coronavirus patients died at home isolation in Delhi since the first week of May. In the home isolation strategy, oximeters have emerged as a game changer in saving precious lives, the official added.
The number of COVID-19 patients under home isolation in Delhi stands at 17,600.
Since May, a total of 1.34 lakh COVID-19 patients have been prescribed home isolation out of which 1.13 lakh recovered while about 2,700 were shifted to hospital for further treatment, the data showed. PTI