The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has made institutional quarantine mandatory for all coronavirus patients who are above the age of 50, irrespective of whether they have any symptoms of the infection, PTI reported on Friday. The modified guidelines, which were issued on August 19, will come into effect from this week, the civic body said.

The decision is part of the administration’s efforts to curb the mortality rate, which the civic body said is particularly high among patients between the ages of 50 and 60. As of Thursday evening, the city had recorded 7,311 deaths from the disease and the tally of infections stood at 1,32,817.

As per the modified guidelines, home isolation will only be allowed for mild and asymptomatic patients below the age of 50. Covid-19 patients over 50 have to be referred to dedicated care centres, even if they do not have any comorbidities. However, the patient may choose either a government or a private hospital to undergo institutional isolation, the civic body said, according to The Indian Express.

“Most deaths have been recorded in the age group of 60 to 70 years, followed by those in the 50 to 60 age bracket, BMC Executive Health Officer Mangala Gomare told the newspaper. “Hence, we decided to monitor those aged above 50 from the day they test positive.”

According to the earlier BMC guidelines, patients in Mumbai were allowed to self-isolate at home if they were asymptomatic, had mild symptoms, were below the age of 60, did not suffer from any comorbidities, and separate toilet facilities were available to them.

The civic body, in its revised rules, also directed the solid waste management department to carry out sanitisation of homes at least once when a coronavirus case is detected in a residential society. “The home of the patient and common areas of (the housing society) should be sanitised,” the BMC said.

Maharashtra, which is the worst-affected state in the country, has 4,59,124 coronavirus cases, including 21,359 deaths as of Friday, according to the Union health ministry. India’s coronavirus tally, meanwhile, crossed the 29-lakh mark on Friday morning. With 68,898 new cases in 24 hours, the count rose to 29,05,823, while the toll increased by 983 to 54,849.

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