BENGALURU: A 70-year-old man Ramesh (name changed) visited a pharmacy and asked for paracetamol for cough and cold. His contact, name and address were taken by the pharmacist, and a week later, he got a call from the health department asking about his condition.
This is the procedure being followed by CCST to ensure that pharmacies are keeping tabs on people coming with symptoms and asking for over-the-counter drugs. It has been made even more stringent after a number of deaths were reported with the majority in the 60-plus age category.
Dr Chandra said, “We have told pharmacies across the state to keep tabs on such people and have given them a web application to store the data of patients. We have seen many patients self-medicating for a long time and later coming to us when the condition deteriorates, by which time no hospital can save them.”
Once the pharmacies upload the data, the district surveillance officer (DSO) goes door-to-door, screens these patients and asks about their health. “The DSO will immediately take them to a hospital if needed,” he said. Dr. Amarnath said, “We have studied more than 1,500 cases and among them, 30% needed critical care, while others were SARI and ILI cases.”