New country report: The COVID-19 Long-Term Care situation in India

Jayeeta Rajagopalan, Saadiya Hurzuk, Faheem Arshad, Premkumar Raja and Suvarna Alladi

Key findings:

  • While there are a large number of elderly people with comorbidities in India, there is a limited data available on the proportion with long-term care needs.
  • There is no formal or organized long-term care system in the country. Long-term care is community based, with families primarily providing care.
  • The numbers of positive cases of COVID 19 in India have risen significantly since the first case was reported on January 30th 2020. As of 30th May 2020, there are 86,422 active cases, 82,369 cured cases and 4,971 deaths. There is no data on the prevalence of COVID-19 among people with long-term care needs or number of deaths.
  • The government has introduced several population level measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. These include: a nationwide lockdown to encourage physical distancing, establishing centres for COVID-19 testing, creating dedicated facilities for treatment, an app to facilitate contact tracing and guidelines/advisories for older people and people with disabilities.
  • Care homes are largely unregulated and there is limited data available on their activities. As a result, it is difficult to determine the extent to which infection protocol measures have been adopted by all care homes in the country.
  • There are no government guidelines directed specifically towards unpaid carers and people with dementia during the pandemic (as of May 30th 2020).

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