WITH THE public transport buses and private vehicles having been taken off the road, due to the lockdown imposed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) on Wednesday announced that it would press buses of Rajkot Mass Transport Service (RMTS) to drop those who tested negative back to their homes from the civil hospital in the city.
“The medical superintendent of civil hospital had requested our help in ferrying those who are discharged from the hospital back to their homes. Since public transport is suspended and our RMTS buses are also not much in use these days, we have offered them these buses. Initially, we had put our two buses to the disposal of the civil hospital. We will allot more buses if needed,” Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Udit Agrawal told The Indian Express on Wednesday adding that they will not charge anything for allotting buses.
Dr Manish Mehta, Medical Superintendent of Rajkot Civil Hospital said the hospital needed buses to facilitate journey of non-COVID patients back to their homes. “The Rajkot district panchayat has arranged four vehicles to drop back to their homes COVID-19 patients. Similarly, RMC has been providing similar facility at the token rate of Rs 10 for patients living in city. But as there is lockdown, no transport facility is available to non-COVID patients. Therefore, we have requested the civic body to spare a few buses for such patients,” Dr Mehta said.
As of Wednesday, the city had recorded 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of them, 31 have been reported from Jungleshwar area alone. With the rise in number of cases, the government had imposed curfew in Jungleshwar and adjoining areas on Kothariya Road on Saturday to facilitate complete lockdown and mass testing people in the hot-spot area.
The authorities have been testing more than 50 persons every day for the past week. In some days, the number of people tested have gone beyond 200. The isolation ward in the hospital has had average 40 persons indoor. But majority of the suspected cases which are admitted to the isolation ward are testing negative and they are discharged from the hospital.
City hotel to provide meals to patients
Fern Residency, one of the upmarket hotels in the city will supply meals to patients admitted to COVID-19 isolation ward in the civil hospital in Rajkot. Majority of the positive cases in the city were admitted to the civil hospital and the hospital had been serving to patients meals cooked in the hospital kitchen. “However, there were complaints from patients about the food. In the meantime, Fern Residency approached us with an offer to serve meals to the patients,” Civil Hospital Superintendent Dr Manish Mehta said.
The hotel said their services are complementary. “We are supplying lunch and dinner to doctors, paramedical staff and patients for the past two days. This is more a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative for us,” Shyam Raichura, managing director of Fern Residency said.
Rapid antibody tests from Thursday
Meanwhile, the municipal commissioner said that the health department will start running rapid antibody tests on suspected COVID-19 cases.
“After we announced doing the tests on Tuesday, there was a direction from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to hold these tests back. But now, we have got a green signal from the state government. From Thursday onwards, we will start running these tests on people even with mild symptoms and those who have been shifted to quarantine facility and have been there for a week,” Agrawal said.
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