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Covid services in Dhanvantari Raths to resume from today

The last time the service was operational was in June 2021. As many as 20 vehicles will be providing Covid OPD services in the beginning and and the number of vehicles will be increased in the coming days.

Written by Ritu Sharma | Ahmedabad |
Updated: December 29, 2021 3:03:59 am
DRDO’s Dhanvantari Covid hospital starts operation, admits 40 patients on Day 1As the member of Covid-19 cases started dropping in Ahmedabad city, the service was discontinued in June of this year. (Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran/ File)

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) will resume its Dhanvantari Rath services, a mobile van dedicated for Covid OPD, from Wednesday.

The decision was taken by Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Lochan Sehra soon after he took charge Tuesday at the Riverfront House on Sabarmati Riverfront.

The last time the service was operational was in June 2021. As many as 20 vehicles will be providing Covid OPD services in the beginning and and the number of vehicles will be increased in the coming days.

“Starting with 20 Dhanvantari Rath from tomorrow, this will be increased over time,” Deputy Municipal Commissioner Praveen Chaudhary told The Indian Express.

“Initially our own health staff will be deployed in the vehicles and a request for mobilising more staff from districts has been made to the state government,” he added.

Along with strengthening Covid testing facilities, the municipal corporation will also focus on vaccination within two-three days.

It will mobilise a huge corporation team to start strict compliance of its September 17 order, restricting entry of citizens who are due to get vaccinated but have not taken the Covid jabs, in public places this week.

What started only as OPD services with prescribing immunity boosting prophylaxis to residents and identified persons with Covid-19 symptoms to be referred to nearby urban health centres for tests, AMC’s Dhanvantri Rath scheme has evolved since its launch on May 17,2020, and graduated to testing for Covid-19 in July 2020 as it added Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits to its arsenal.

AMC claimed the service was a success as it was put to maximum use till the end of year 2020 and then during the second Covid wave in the city, which lasted till June this year.

As the member of Covid-19 cases started dropping in Ahmedabad city, the service was discontinued in June of this year.

The number of Dhanvantri Rath vehicles — with a medical officer, staff nurse, lab technician and the driver — saw a substantial hike in the number in May and June — both in 2020 and 2021 — when the cases were at its peak in the city.

From initial 80 vehicles in the month of May, it was increased to 119 in June 2020 which was further increased to 125 in July and August, the same year.

During this peak, over 500 medicos and para medicos were working with 122 Dhanvantri Raths.

Meanwhile, Sehra presided over a meeting of senior officials at the Riverfront House Tuesday evening soon after he took the charge from his predecessor Mukesh Kumar who is now Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Urban Housing Department.

The new municipal commissioner was also briefed about the current Covid status, possible ways to strengthen testing in the coming days, vaccination status, active cases, Omicron variant cases, how tracking of international passengers is done.

Further, testing facilities will be strengthened at all UHCs, CHCs and OPDs of municipal run hospitals.

Out of 394 total Covid-19 cases reported from Gujarat on Tuesday, Ahmedabad city reported 178 new cases of Covid and another two new cases of Omicron variant. At present, there are 25 active cases of Omicron in Ahmedabad city.

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