Volunteers set up COVID-19 helpline

Volunteers of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and the Students Islamic Organisation of India at the information centre at Noor Ul Huda Masjid in Tiruchi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT

Volunteers affiliated to the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) and the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) have set up an Information and Counselling Centre for COVID-19 patients at the Noor ul Huda Masjid in Alwarthope in the city.

The volunteers provide guidance for COVID-19 patients including availability of beds in hospitals, connect them to distributors of oxygen concentrators and provide tele-counselling through a team of doctor-volunteers.

The centre, which works from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seeks to clarify all the questions a patient who has contracted COVID-19 might have. “There are many who call us, anxious about symptoms and what might happen to them. The fear of the infection is worse than the infection itself,” I. Nawaz Khan, Social Service In-charge - Tiruchi, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind told The Hindu.

As many as 30 volunteers, from SIO and JIH have been pressed to action, manning two helpline numbers. “We have deployed them in shifts of two hours each. We do not want the volunteers, who are young, to burn-out either,” Mr. Khan said.

The volunteers monitor the Tamil Nadu government websites, several WhatsApp groups and keep in touch with doctors at all COVID-19 treating hospitals in the city to provide information on bed availability.

The group also has around 20 doctor-volunteers who take tele-consultations free of cost for patients. “We have doctors from across Tamil Nadu who have volunteered to talk to patients to alleviate their stress and to guide them to get the necessary medical treatment,” he said.

Sometimes, the helpline also gets requests from patients for food. A team of around four members ensure that it is provided as soon as possible. The team also distributes around 100 food packets for the destitute living in various parts of Tiruchi.

The Minister for Municipal Administration, Urban and Water Supply, K. N. Nehru had inaugurated the volunteer group a few days ago. “On the first day we got around 35 calls, and a few days later, on Wednesday, we got over 40 calls. As the awareness of our availability increases, we will get more calls,” Mr. Khan said.

People with COVID-19 symptoms and those who need guidance of a doctor, information on hospital beds or any COVID-19 related query can call 82703 40296 or 99526 95247.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 2:37:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/volunteers-set-up-covid-19-helpline/article34658603.ece

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