When citizens are extremely distressed and confused over whom to reach out to and what to do in case they get infected, NGOs and doctors’ associations have stepped forward to guide them. Groups of doctors are operating telemedicine service to assist asymptomatic and mild-symptomatic patients so that they follow the right medication and take Covid appropriate behaviour.
In all, 150 doctors of West Bengal Doctors’ Forum (WBDF) from across the state along with 100-plus volunteers of SwitchON Foundation have joined hands in giving philanthropic telemedicine service to over 10,000 patients. “We are currently receiving over 1,000 calls daily and are geared up to handle 10 times the number. People just need to dial 8929408282,” said Pial Banerjee of SwitchON.
Protect the Warrior — an initiative by the United Doctors Welfare Association — also runs a support system called Sanjog via the helpline No. 8420808635. The services are meant for quarantined and mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic persons. WBDF-SwitchOn telemedicine is available from 7 am to 12 midnight. Protect the Warrior telemedicine works from the noon to midnight.
A similar initiative is also being run by a group of doctors — Doctors for Patients (DOPA). “It involves a host of expert doctors to consult with the Covid-19 patients, who are mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic,” said Dr Sharadwat Mukhopadhyay.
Dr Koushik Chaki of WBDF said: “We from the WBDF are extremely concerned about the sufferings of people due to the second wave of Covid-19. Those in home isolation are being given support via various platforms including WBDF- SWITCH on the joint endeavor.”
The helpline service is available in both Bengali and Hindi and has English-speaking volunteers also.
Vinay Jaju of SwitchON Foundation said: “We reached out to West Bengal Doctors Forum who were doing a tremendous job of supporting patients over the phone and we recognized the need to set up a call center to manage all their calls. So we set up one in a record time of three days with over 100 volunteers from all walks of life.”
Source: Times of India