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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

All in a day’s work for mobile dispensary vans: Checking patients, referring suspected cases, helping the elderly

Seventy mobile dispensaries, run by Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana (BJS) and Force Motors in Pune have been crucial in helping the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) trace COVID-19 patients, screen residents and refer patients to the PMC's Covid care centres.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune | Published: May 14, 2020 8:08:19 pm
coronavirus, coronavirus news, corona latest news, covid-19, covid 19 india, corona india, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news,coronavirus in india, coronavirus in india latest news, coronavirus latest news in india, coronavirus cases, coronavirus cases in india, coronavirus india cases state wise, coronavirus cases in india state wise The mobile dispensaries have screened as many as 3 lakh local residents and referred nearly 5,000 suspected patients to the Covid care centres of PMC. (Express photo: Ashish Kale)

The 70 mobile dispensaries for medical check-ups, run by the Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana (BJS) and Force Motors in the city, have helped strengthen the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC’s) fight against the pandemic.

By the end of April, these dispensary vans had helped the civic body trace 152 Covid patients. They have screened as many as 3 lakh local residents and referred nearly 5,000 suspected patients to the Covid care centres of PMC.

“The PMC has issued a written communication on April 29 that it has been able to confirm 152 patients from the referred patients,” said coordinator Rahul Dagaliya.

Here’s a closer look at a day in the life of a mobile dispensary in Pune:

The team starts the day at the BJS office on Pune-Ahmednagar Road. The Force Motors vehicle is disinfected and the necessary material is boarded on it at 8 am.

As per the requests of the PMC administration, BJS sends these vehicles – each with a team comprising a doctor and three attendants — to particular areas in the city. After reaching the allocated location, the team puts up a board outside the locality, urging local residents to get themselves checked. The entire team is provided with basic protective equipment such as masks, face shields, gloves and sanitisers.

One attendant jots down the name of each person who comes for a check-up, and their medical history. The doctor then checks their body temperature with a infra-red thermometer. “If the temperature is above normal, then the person is asked to wait for some more time. The temperature is checked two more times at an interval of five minutes. If it continues to be high, then the person is asked about other symptoms and travel or contact history. On this basis of this information, the person is put on the list of suspected patients, and the PMC is informed about it…. for further action,” said Dr. Santosh Kawade, a homepathic doctor who runs clinics at Warje and Dhayari, and is also helping out BJS.

If the patient is not running a temperature, then they are asked about other ailments and medicines are given to them accordingly. “We give normal paracetamol tablets and cough syrup…,” said Dr. Kawade.

Meanwhile, the other attendants are sent to the residences of senior or differently-abled residents, who can’t walk to the mobile clinic. The attendants check their temperature with the second infrared thermometer and if needed, inform the doctors about further check-ups.

After finishing check-ups in an area, the mobile clinic moves to the next location in the vicinity. It functions till about 6 pm, after which the vehicle returns to the BJS office, where it undergoes its first round of disinfection. The team has to submit a daily report of local residents checked and suspected patients referred.

A mobile van usually covers nearly 90 local residents per day.

Now, the BJS is about to set up its first swab collection centre at Annabhau Sathe Hall in Yerawada from Friday, where Covid tests for suspected patients will be conducted free of cost.

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