AAP Oximitra campaign
A glimpse of the Oximitra drive by AAP in Bengaluru.@AAPBangalore/Twitter

The battle against COVID-19 continues in Karnataka. Even as the buzz around it quietens, there are miles to go before this battle is won. Many initiatives have been put forward to help people get the healthcare they need. The Aam Aadmi Party had recently launched the AAP Cares campaign.

The AAP Cares was launched across the state to ensure sanitisation, awareness-building and door-to-door drives to conduct temperature checks and checks of oxygen saturation levels. Now, AAP Cares is also launching the 'Oximitra' campaign to enlist citizens in order to check oxygen levels.

Importance of oxygen levels in fight against COVID

The AAP Cares initiative was launched to fill the gaps that the BBMP wasn't able to on the ground. So far, research has stressed on the importance of oxygen in the fight against COVID-19. Moreover, regular checks on oxygen levels have been recommended. While swab tests may take time to come through and are expensive, conducting checks using oximeters which can be procured now, is a good way to ascertain the criticality of one's health status when you may not know you have COVID-19.

Stressing on the need for early detection, AAP has launched its 'Oximitra' campaign to check oxygen saturation levels in citizens across each ward, district and state. The party says, "The government is not doing anything to ensure that early detection is done to prevent high fatalities. Considering 90% of Covid19 patients are asymptomatic and that not everyone can be tested regularly through swab tests, monitoring temperature and oxygen saturation levels would help identify patients before they become critical."

AAP Cares volunteers are going door to door and providing free temperature check, free oximeter check and providing free sanitization.  So far, since 6th August, the volunteers have been able to reach out to 3000 to 5000 people every day and have tested temperature and oxygen levels, etc. They have now covered 1,25,634 people across Bengaluru.

It was during their campaign that they found 4 people with low oxygen levels who were uninformed about it being one of the indicators of COVID-19. The volunteers helped in getting further tests conducted and to ensure they recover.  

State Convenor for AAP Prithvi Reddy tells IBTimes, "When we started doing it to our shock there are people whose oxygen is about 80 and they have zero symptoms and are not even aware of the fact that they are in problem. Now, anything below 92 is dangerous, and we're talking about finding people at 80, which means he's in a crisis situation. We have been encouraging them to go immediately to get a COVID test in some cases where the patients were older we literally took them in an auto and got them tested, they've all turned out to be positive. They have had to be hospitalised immediately."

Further, he adds about the matter, "There are cases where number one that person doesn't even know they're infected because he doesn't have a temperature, he or she. So this is a very serious problem because to keep the numbers down to look good, you're risking people's lives. We are talking about a section of people who can't go to private hospitals. So the question is who's going to look after these people?" 

The party says, "Though we have covered 1.25 lakh people, this is still 1% of Bengaluru. We need to scale this across the city and would like to nominate 'oximitras' for every 200-300 families. Oximitras would ensure checking basic oxygen saturation and pulse levels along with providing proper counselling regarding Covid19. They would also facilitate additional checking or sanitation if required through ward level AAP Cares teams. All required training, equipment and support will be provided."  

Note: The AAP Cares initiative is now calling on citizens to reach out to take charge as 'oximitras', those interested can reach out to 8884431202.