People over 60 years of age have become the population most affected by the new coronavirus, to the point that they account for nearly 75% of the deaths registered by this disease in the city.
This situation has caused an alert among the district authorities, who launched a strategy to reduce the mortality of older adults from the virus.
Juan Manuel Alvarado, manager for the crisis for COVID-19 in the Barranquilla District, explained that this plan was consolidated due to the high number of deaths when only 17% of positives have been detected in this population group.
“We have identified an alert that these people are very late seeking medical help. That is why we will work hand in hand with EPS and IPS so that care is timely, “said the official in dialogue with EL HERALDO.
Alvarado, who also serves as the District’s Planning Secretary, explained that this plan seeks to centralize the information corresponding to about 2,130 older adults.
“Our focus is that the elderly can arrive on time, that EPS and IPS act on time. We will be accompanying all this process, ”said the official.
He also indicated that an active search will be carried out among the 90 thousand older adults who have been classified as high risk due to their medical pathologies.
“We also want them to look for us the moment they begin to present any symptoms related to the coronavirus or another disease. We are doing follow-ups through calls to activate service routes and thus reduce any complications, “he explained.
The official explained that if the detection of patients is carried out early, it will be possible for care to be carried out at home and thus avoid the collapse of the health system.
“The patient will be much more comfortable and the exposure will be less. If he needs to be transferred to another place, it can be done early and there is a greater chance that he will recover, ”he said.
Alvarado added that the strategy will be supported by the ‘Health Walkers’, who carry out active epidemiological surveillance in different neighborhoods of the city.
“We will work with JAL and JAC members to identify older adults. The leaders of each neighborhood know where the people at risk are and we want to reach that population, ”specified Alvarado.
He said that monitoring will be carried out on people over 60 who are undergoing diagnostic tests and who are waiting for the result.
On the other hand, he indicated that a telephone line (4010204) and a website (www.baq60.com) will be enabled to report any suspected case and receive attention through the strategy.
Passage Homes The official explained that homes for the elderly have been enabled, with the aim of providing a “more comfortable space” to those who require it.
“It is basically a hotel and these people are guaranteed three meals and a place to sleep. It is intended for people with mild symptoms and who cannot keep quarantined at home, “said the crisis manager for COVID-19 in the Atlantic capital.
Currently, according to figures from the Regulatory Center for Urgencies and Emergencies (CRUE), twelve senior citizens are receiving care in transit homes
Finally, Alvarado explained that these strategies are in addition to the other actions that the district administration is carrying out in different sectors of the city to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
“People must also continue to wear the mask, constantly washing their hands and not forgetting social distancing to reduce any risk of contagion,” he said.
ICU occupation. Humberto Mendoza, district health secretary, explained that the occupation of intensive care beds in Barranquilla continues at 85%.
The official stressed that the city has worked on the authorization of new ICUs and that it is expected to have nearly 600 in the coming weeks.
“We have received fans that increase supply and save lives, but that is not the definitive solution,” he said.
Mendoza was emphatic when stating that the risk of deaths should be decreased through more diagnoses and better care for the population at risk, mainly in the Suroriente and Metropolitana localities, which concentrate a high percentage of active cases.
As of June 29, 1,500 active cases are accumulated in the Suroriente locality, while another 990 infections have been detected in the Metropolitan locality.