Coronavirus outbreak: Deploy mobile medical teams, approach civil volunteers for aid

Updated: Apr 03, 2020, 08:21 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Environmentalist Stalin D writes to state chief secretary suggesting a proactive, citizen-centric approach to pandemic; lists suggestions, assures cooperation

People being given hand santiser whenever they come out of their homes or return to them in Dharavi. Pic/Atul Kamble
People being given hand santiser whenever they come out of their homes or return to them in Dharavi. Pic/Atul Kamble

With the number of cases Corona positive cases steadily going up, environmentalist Stalin D recently wrote the to the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra suggesting the formation of mobile fighting teams in every municipal ward. Medical squads comprising one doctor, one nurse, a paramedic, one policeman/municipal security person and a driver must be formed, he suggested, adding that two such teams can be deployed in each ward.

On receiving reports of any sick person, the mobile van can go to the locality and check the patient and decide if he/she needs to be quarantined," the letter stated.

There are a lot of ambulances in each ward owned and operated by political parties and private trusts which can be used for this service, he said, adding that this could eliminate the threat posed by potential carriers who would otherwise visit local dispensaries. "One team could visit colonies to screen residents and data can be generated to identify potential carriers," the letter stated.

He also spoke of a backup medical team (doctors, nurses and paramedics) to be kept ready on standby to fill in for the existing doctors if they get infected.

Great job by govt

Stalin also appreciated the Chief Minister and the state government over their way of handling the crisis in the state.

"While Mumbai and many cities of Maharashtra have managed to keep essential services going, that alone does not allow us the freedom of breathing easy. The first warning that the pandemic could blow up in our faces is the discovery of the virus in Worli Koliwada. Worse situations are likely to unravel in the coming days," Stalin's letter pointed.

Appreciating the efforts of MCGM he said that they have done a great task by linking the wholesalers to retailers using the internet but pointed out that there was still an acute shortage of smaller delivery vans to bring the goods to the retailers.

"All drivers who have registered for essential services must be given medical insurance and the assurance that their families will be taken care of in case of an unfortunate event. The mathadi workers must be brought on board too with adequate insurance /compensation cover to help smooth delivery of essentials," added the letter.

Approach NGOs

Stalin also believed that a civil volunteer base was needed and the government should reach out to all NGOs for this. Each NGO must be asked to keep a team ready to serve in whatever capacity if needed. Adequate resting space, sanitation and food supply must be ensured for the police personnel too.

"There has to be a feedback portal for citizens to send their concerns. We request you to take the battle against the Coronavirus to the homes of Mumbaikars rather than wait for cases to surface in large numbers. We hope our suggestions will be considered. Needless to say, we offer our unconditional support to the government in this battle. We hope and pray for the best but it is prudent to be prepared for the worst," the letter concluded.

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