NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Two times a day Kamal Kumari, a New Delhi health worker, gets a ton of WhatsApp messages from COVID-19 patients. Each message is either a two-digit number from a small device or a photo.
A $13 oxygen monitor known as a ‘pulse oximeter’ is a device used to make sure a patient’s blood-oxygen levels are at or above the 95 percent mark.
Kamel went on to explain, ‘When we didn’t have this, we wouldn’t know about their oxygen levels. Now we can find out in time and safely refer patients to the hospital.’ In India, the situation with the virus is getting worse at a rapid pace, so, these low-cost monitoring devices have a lot of value there.
The local government has freely distributed over 30,000 of the crucial monitoring devices so far. The aim is to keep the asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic carriers isolated from the rest of society.
The program designed back in May when coronavirus cases were surging pretty significantly in Delhi, a city of about 20 million.
Reuters reported that Satyendar Jain, Delhi’s health minister, said, ‘If we hadn’t done this, there would’ve been no room to even stand in our hospitals.’
India holds third place for most-COVID-infected population behind Brazil (number 2) and the United States (number 1). The country has over 3.5 million as of the time of this writing. infections.
Local health officials began noticing people were starting to have a drop in blood-oxygen levels that lacked the usually accompanying difficulty in breathing. They are calling this phenomenon ‘happy hypoxemia.’ This usual circumstance was causing complications for coronavirus patients that were isolated at home.
Delhi has seen at least 173,000 new infections and just over 4,400 deaths from COVID-19. 14,700 cases still remain active and contagious and once scarce hospital beds are now becoming more available as patients get better.
Featured Image Credit: [India]