Updated: June 19, 2021 10:20:59 am
In a first-of-its-kind initiative in Maharashtra, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), in anticipation of a third Covid-19 wave, has set up a child helpline, which will be run by schoolchildren.
“The objective behind setting up the child helpline is to remove fear from the minds of children,” said Municipal Commissoner Rajesh Patil on Thursday.
On Thursday, the civic chief held a meeting with principals, teachers and parents of eight schools as well as sixteen students from class 7 to 9.
At the meeting, the commissioner said students should email questions about Covid-19 to firstname.lastname@example.org. “They should provide their questionnaires to class teachers…The PCMC will also come up with a set of questions. Those students who will run the child helpline will be given information and training about Covid-19 and its treatment,” said Patil.
Among those present at the meeting included Additional Municipal Commissioner Vikas Dhakane, YCMH dean Dr Rajendra Wable, Sagar Bandalkar, Jabbin Sayyed, Pramod Sadul, Anil Gaikwad, Vaishali Nanaware, Parag Munde and Sanjeev Wakhare.
The child helpline will be run only for a limited time in a day so that it is easier to manage, Dhakane said. “We will also make arrangements to ensure that children can handle the helpline from their homes and do not have to come to PCMC office,” he added.
The PCMC administration has also fixed responsibilities on different officials. “This is being done to avoid any confusion when the third wave lands and ensure effective coordination,” the PCMC administration said.
“…We have made arrangements to admit patients at YCM hospital, Jijamata hospital and Gharkul Covid Care Centre, where beds have been reserved for children. We have also set up a task force. We have also directed private hospitals to make necessary arrangements for admitting children,” said Patil.
According to the PCMC administration, Assistant Municipal Commissioner Balasaheb Khandekar has been asked to oversee the Covid War Room. He will be the chief coordinator. “He will coordinate with all war rooms in the city, zonal officials and medical officers. He will also have to monitor the rapid antigen and RT-PCR tests conducted in the city,” the administration said in a statement.
Assistant Municipal Commisisoner Prashant Joshi will be the information collection coordinator. “Through ‘Mee Jababdar’ app, he will collect information from testing labs, Covid Care Centres and hospitals. He will be responsible for updating information on Corona portal and ICMR portal.”
Deputy Municipal Commissioner Sandeep Khot will be the contact tracing coordinator. “His team will be responsible for tracing Covid positive patients, their address, mobile number and other information. He will have to ensure that 100 per cent contact tracing is done of those who came in contact with the infected person. He will have to update the information on the app.”
Deputy Municipal Commissioner Mangesh Chitale will be coordinator for creating public awareness. “His team will be responsible for putting up flex and hoardings to create awareness about Covid. He will have to coordinate with all hospitals and zonal offices to create awareness. His will team will have to coordinate with all civic departments, government offices, media partners, NGOs and people’s representatives,” the PCMC administration said.
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