Andhra Pradesh

Volunteers become the eyes and ears of govt.

Ward volunteers conducting a survey at Kanuru in Vijayawada on Wednesday.

Ward volunteers conducting a survey at Kanuru in Vijayawada on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: V. RAJU

They accomplish the critical task of tracing foreign returnees in quick time

The village and ward volunteers, who have come in handy for the State government to track down foreign returnees in the event of COVID-19 outbreak, are being hailed for their services by the people.

Soon after positive cases were reported in neighbouring Telangana, the State also began taking precautionary measures and engaged the volunteers to conduct a door-to-door survey covering nearly 1.5 crore households.

In addition to the list of over 7,000 foreign returnees sent by the Central government, volunteers traced about 7,000 returnees more by the end of the survey.

As of Wednesday, a majority of the returnees had been traced and the volunteers are once again making door-to-door visits following the orders of resurvey by the government.

“Volunteers along with Asha workers are enquiring about the health condition of the returnees and their close contacts at regular intervals. We upload the information on a special mobile application created for the purpose and it is reviewed by the higher officials,” B. Lavanya, a village volunteer, said.

Multiple visits

“Volunteers made multiple visits without us having to take the pain of informing health officials about the condition of our kin who have returned from abroad,” said a woman of Kanuru.

Also, volunteers have to follow up the health condition of suspected cases by visiting them once in two days. Some of the volunteers were also engaged in sanitisation works in rural areas.

Some netizens, however, are voicing concern over the protection of the volunteers and the possibility of them transmitting the virus. Volunteers say they are compulsorily wearing face masks and taking all precautions as advised by the officials.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 5:52:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/volunteers-become-the-eyes-and-ears-of-govt/article31167992.ece

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