With the state struggling to contain Covid-19, the pandemic has brought together people from diverse fields on a common platform to provide assistance to thousands of patients who need help. Mountaineers, models, medical students and some well-known doctors are part of this “Covid Care Network”, which has more than 200 members.
Both mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta, who has spent most of his life scaling the world’s highest peaks and setting records, and climber and model Madhabilata Mitra are part of this network.
“We want to improve access to healthcare, provide social support to the Covid-infected and their family. We have a 24X7 helpline where people can call anytime and get real time assistance,” said Siddhanta.
The group has now formed a crisis management team, and attached two ambulances with it.
“We regularly see how people suffer due to the non-availability of proper ambulances, and some have even died. There is a stigma attached to this disease, which is making it more challenging for the government to tackle this pandemic,” said Siddhanta.
The group’s members said they provide prompt action whenever they are contacted for help. Medical students Suchismit Bhattacharya, Parijat Bera, Antarup Haldar and Lopamudra Bose said fear was the “deadliest virus” of all.
“Covid-19 is not always related to death. Many only see mild symptoms and get cured as well. We should understand that it is curable and panicking over the situation will have an adverse effect. I work in a Covid ward and when I come back I am exhausted. But when I get calls, I answer their queries and try to calm them and advise them. Everyone has to contribute to end this situation,” said Somdutta Satpathy, an intern at SSKM hospital.
Physician and public health activist Dr Abhijit Choudhury told The Sunday Express, “Half of the Covid battle is fought in hospitals, and the other half in the community. Covid Care Network is looking into the social aspect of this pandemic. They also share information about patients’ relatives admitted in different hospitals, depending on the request. The team gives them medical advice and enlightens them about the pandemic.”
The group organises small gatherings to lift people’s spirit. Those who have gone through similar experiences at hospitals share their expertise so that others do not repeat their mistakes.
“It is not possible for the government to fight this pandemic alone, and it is good to see people from diversified fields joining hands,” said a doctor at a private hospital who did not want to be named.
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