As the second wave of coronavirus pandemic hit India, it raised new fears about the crumbling health services.
Addressing the issue, many groups have come forward, providing maximum assistance to people in need. One such group is in a small village of Nangal Thakran in northwest Delhi's Bawana.
The volunteer group led by Dr Vikas Thakran, a cardiologist and a resident of the village, is helping COVID patients to receive medical assistance and counselling on time, besides developing several resources, including oxygen cylinders, concentrators and other relief materials. The group provides free ambulance service for the villagers.
It has around 8-9 oxygen cylinders, many of them donated by the villagers, alongside 100 oximeters available.
The team also made rounds in the village, announced updates guidelines, busting myths related to the virus and associated diseases through awareness drives. They also report about people who exhibit the virus symptoms.
Speaking to Times of India, former sports teacher and Committee member of the project, Ravindra Thakran, said that the team had been engaged in social services for two years in a row. After observing the dire condition of the health system, especially in the remote areas, they decided to provide COVID assistance to the village.
The team created a WhatsApp group with volunteers last month, from each lane and people from nearby villages and received guidance from Dr Thakran. "In the beginning, being infected meant remaining secretive. But now, being aware that a treatment is available and help is accessible, people come forward on their own and report," the committee member told the media.
The group contains members from different backgrounds, including a plumber, an AC repair mechanic, both of who help with oxygen cylinders. Two male nurses help people isolate themselves at home after they or any family member has contracted the virus and serve 10-12 hours shifts in the hospital.
Thakran, along with other members, help with logistics, from procuring medicines to providing essentials. According to the report, three members contracted the virus, but the group continued working, and the situation has reportedly improved in the area.
Thakran said that the initiative was started when he found a patient with alarmingly low oxygen levels. "We started by creating chat groups. It is essentially a triage at the village level. We monitor the markers, medical treatment based on symptoms and determine early whether a person requires hospitalisation," the cardiologist said.
So far, the village has 50 active cases and recorded two fatalities in a population of 6,000 people. Besides treating patients, the doctor also consults patients several times, including those on the verge of recovery.
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