Tuesday, June 15, 2021


Punjab State Red Cross constitutes a Helpline for COVID Patients

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | May 15, 2021 05:05 PM

CHANDIGARH: On the suggestion of Mr. Avinash Rai Khanna, Vice Chairperson Indian Red Cross, Punjab State Red Cross has started a “Tele helpline” in Collaboration with Strategic Institute for Public Health Education and Research (SIPHER) to provide counseling and guidance to the COVID 19 patients in home isolation.

Initially, a panel of three doctors comprising of Dr. Rakesh Gupta -President SIPHER and a former DHS Punjab, Dr. Ajay Bagga – a former Civil Surgeon and Dr Lakhvir Singh working as District Health Officer, Hoshiarpur was constituted. Presently these three panelists are serving as coordinators for the helpline and a team of 24 highly experienced medical experts, some very senior PCMS officers and other experts from across India, UK, and Canada have joined as panelists to provide free teleconsultation.

Dr. Rakesh Gupta M.D. President and Director of Public Health, Strategic Institute for Public Health Education and Research (SIPHER) said that Mr. C S Talwar, Secretary, Punjab Red Cross informed that their contact details are shared on Red Cross/SIPHER Website and social media so that consultation to COVID 19 patients is available during day time. Patients or their relatives are encouraged to send WhatsApp message reg symptoms/investigation/treatment received/query and docs provide the resolution by reverting as WhatsApp msg, It is followed by Phone calls by the patient only if required. He added that a webinar was held “COVID 19-What to do when you or your family is suspected of COVID” with an eminent set of subject experts including A pulmonologist, Pediatrician, Public Health Specialist, and a Dietician to clarify various issues.

Dr. Karanjit Singh Former DHS, Dr. Ashok Nayyar Former DHS, Dr. Rita Bhardwaj Former DHS, and Dr. Ajay Singla a Former IAS officer are of the view that, in a time when COVID related myths are being spread, especially through social media, the Red Cross Helpline becomes even more important to provide the scientific information and for busting the myths, thus saving the life of COVID patients by counseling and guidance as per a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prepared by experts in the list. If there is a suspicion of progression, the patient is advised admission to a COVID facility nearby. Prof. Dr. Sonu Goel, PGIMeR said that, The panelists have succeeded in convincing people through their timely messages about the significance of COVID appropriate behavior. Testimonials of satisfied patients show that they are getting appropriate information, guidance, and counseling.

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