EVERY DAY about 10 to 20 people are brought in dead (BiD) and this is a frightening and worrying scenario. Most of them passed on in their homes while some collapsed at public places.

Two weeks ago, a total number of 85 people were BiD. Last week a total number of 98 people were BiD, the highest so far. These cases are generally patients who tested positive for the virus but were in Categories 1 and 2, who were either asymptomatic or displayed minor symptoms of cold and fever.

Due to the overwhelming number of Covid-19 cases in hospitals, with insufficient beds and medical frontliners being over worked, these patients were directed to monitor themselves in the confines of their homes. They were told to report daily to the Health Care line via the MySejahtera application on their health status. Those who did not report daily were called directly by the health authorities. Some answered while some of the calls went unanswered and could not be reached.

Some of these patients, due to health complications and comorbidities, and the virulent infection, quickly deteriorated to Categories 3 and 4. Some of these patients are old and most of them are staying alone, or with an elderly spouse.

According to a media report, 30% of the BiD cases were not aware of their symptoms and infection, and they had taken them for granted. They thought it was a minor cold or fever, and that they would recover.

Since most of them are in their advanced age and living on their own, there was no one to monitor them and to take them to a hospital when they faced breathing difficulties. Many of these patients do not know how to use the MySejahtera app. The hospital authorities should look into the status of Categories 1 and 2 patients, case by case.

If the patients are aged and living alone, or with their aged spouse, the health authorities should assign them to a centre where they can be monitored and supervised.

Loved ones should make regular calls to check on the health status of these folks. Many of these patients are not tech-savy and they may take their infection symptoms lightly. There are three men in their 50’s and 60’s living in my housing area. They go out daily to buy their meals. The neighbours make it a point to check on them regularly.

We need to act on these BiD cases because these patients can be saved, just with a little concern and care. People should look out for neighbours who are elderly and living alone with their spouse. Children living away should call daily to check on their aged parents. Patients from Categories 1 and 2 having breathing problems should refer themselves to health centres.

Hospitals should refer these patients to centres where they can be monitored and supervised. A concerted effort is needed to safe lives, especially during these desperate times.

Samuel Yesuiah