Current situation in the world and more so specific to Indian context is very alarming and disturbing due to COVID-19 pandemic. Death toll is very high due to the pandemic in Countries like Italy , Spain , USA where the population density is relatively on lower side. The situation becomes more worrisome for India as the population density is multiple times to that of the developed nations and consequently the probability of fatality count will be very high if it is not dealt effectively.
To safeguard 1.3 billion population from the pandemic the GOI has imposed national lockdown which is being implemented by state governments and enforced by local administrative machinery. The lockdown will act as deterrent for breaking the chain of virus spread. This has resulted in restriction of movement of people from their homes and has given rise to problems which are not considered any problem during normal times.
During this time of year te season changes and people normally get allergic and other symptoms like flu, sneezing etc . The symptoms being similar to COVID 19 people get apprehensive but due to lockdown they cannot move out and take medical advise. Apart from this senior citizens also have running medical conditions but they being more prone to COVID -19 fear to venture out to visit hospitals.
This has resulted in a typical problem which required a solution to address citizen problems.
Smart City Aligarh has established Integrated Command and Control Centre at Nagar Nigam Aligarh which has now been converted to COVID control centre. Sh SP Patel ,IAS, Municipal Commissioner , NNA suggested to implement Telemedicine initiative from Command & Control Centre to cater to citizens requirements through video conference wherein the patients can do a video call with doctors through their mobile phones and get medical advice free of cost. The initiative will help citizens from accessing qualified medical advice from their homes. Doctors from IMA were onboarded to respond to citizens queries.
The telemedicine service was inaugurated by Sh GS Priyadarshi, IAS, Div Commissioner, Aligarh in presence of Sh SP Patel, IAS , MC, NNA on 30th March and dedicated to citizens.
The service is available in 2 slots in a day from 1100-1300 hours & 1700-1900 hours. The video call number and doctors available during the day are published in newspapers daily for facility of citizens.
The initiative has been lauded by citizens and has resulted in following benefits :
- Availability of Medical advice to citizens at their homes without moving out
- Advice from Qualified Indian Medical Association doctors
- Allaying citizens fears on their apprehensions regarding COVID-19
- Sharing of Medical prescription by doctors to citizens which can be shown to Chemist for buying medicine
- Record of patients is kept and any COVID suspect can be intimated to authorities for timely action
- Telemedicine service is free of cost
- Resulting in reduction of OPD patients to civil hospitals