Low COVID-19 Mortality in Old Age Homes in Western India: An empirical study
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Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a public health crisis globally. Management of old age homes have been challenged during the ongoing pandemic crisis, as the elderlies are by far the most vulnerable population group in context to prone to infection of COVID-19 disease.
Objective: The study intended to understand the effect of COVID-19 on western Indian elderly care homes, the actions taken by the administration, and the challenges faced during and post-lockdown period.
Method: A total of 44 care homes across three states of western India were contacted for data collection during the period of September-December 2020. Semi-structured interviews of the administrators were taken to gather the required information to achieve the study objectives.
Results: Out of 44 care homes, ten care homes reported 169 cases of coronavirus infection and seven deaths. Hence, the rate of reported COVID-19 cases was found to be 1074 per 10,000 residents.
Discussion: Results of the study indicated the significant steps taken by these old-age care homes to stave off the infection spread among the occupants. It was observed that an average of 26% of the occupants was sent back to their home/relative’s home before the lockdown to decongest the care homes. Care homes in western India seemed to have a very low infection rate and a very low number of deaths as compared to the Global Scenario. The present study also highlights the gaps in policy and calls for urgent action by the government for the regulation of old age homes in India.
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