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12 lakh residents contact Corpn’s COVID tele-counselling centre since March

The tele-counselling centre run by the Greater Chennai Corporation for medical and psychological assistance to COVID-19 infected persons and persons under quarantine has received nearly 12 lakh calls from the residents since March.

12 lakh residents contact Corpn’s COVID tele-counselling centre since March
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Doctors and volunteers at tele-counselling centre

Chennai

According to a Chennai Corporation official, the tele-counselling centre functioning within the Ripon Building premises from March 25 has around 100 phone lines. “Apart from phone lines, we have also launched a Vidmed smartphone application using which the residents can talk to the doctors at the centre through video call,” the official said.

Between March 26 and August 31, the counselling centre has received more than 11.90 lakh calls. The centre has a team of 4 doctors, 7 psychiatrists, 11 coordinators, 230 home-based volunteers, 12 tele-counselling centre volunteers, 96 field level volunteers among others.

“The counselling centre has helped persons who are psychologically affected by anxiety, stigma, fear and other factors, by coordinating with the field level volunteers for social support. This helped the public to cope with their emotional turmoil,” the official added. Dr Pradeep Selvaraj, district programme officer, recounted the instance when the tele-counselling centre helped a severely infected COVID-19 patient to get admitted to a hospital in just nine minutes.

“We coordinated on the field and the ambulance had covered 19 km in 9 minutes. The patient recovered and is doing well. The people can call 044 46122300 and 25384520 for help, and can also contact zonal level teams,” he said.

Green Corridor initiative: In another initiative, the civic body has started the ‘Green Corridor’ initiative in coordination with the tele-counselling centre.

Under the initiative, the civic body would help critical patients reach hospitals within minimum time. “When a COVID-19 person in home isolation develops severe symptoms and calls the counselling centre, the field coordinator will assess the patient. If the severity is high, all the traffic signals in the route between the house and hospital will turn green and the traffic is coordinated in a way that the patient reaches hospital in minimal time,” an official said.

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