Outside situation of ever increasing Covid positive cases...
Today morning this was the message I received from my local ward community wats up group -
Cases are increasing rapidly...
please stay safe and step out only if needed....
We care for you all....please please stay home and stay safe.”
Earlier , Covid never appeared so close to us as it has now, with my Dad now affected and getting treated in hospital, it's been over a week since that day.
Establishment of a system enabling effective Covid Disaster Management
What makes a difference here (sometimes between life and death of fellow humans) is how well the community along with the Government is able to deal and do effective Covid Management through effective response. In my locality, local Government and local resident volunteers have adopted the decentralised way to manage Covid at local ward level.
Decentralised Covid Management at the Ward Level
This is Ward level Decentralised management of Covid. Ward in loose terms means the local area or locality where we reside. Every ward will be managed by local Government, it’s a decentralised style of working. This improves the ability of the local government to reach local residents, monitor local situations and take action.
In our ward, there is active Citizenry too, who are willing to collaborate and volunteer with the local Government representatives to assist the Government in local area initiatives they take to develop/improve the ward.
For Covid Disaster Management too, local ward area residents and volunteers teamed up with local Government, the idea was to help the residents of the ward in Covid care when required.
Whats up message about the Decetralised Covid Management initiative in my ward.
“Sanjaynagar now has a dedicated covid Helpline number with 24/7 support.
Dear Residents of Sanjaynagar,
We residents of Sanjaynagar(ward 18 and 19) along with BBMP have formed a work force to help our residents during this pandemic.
BBMP is working with Residents/RWA on a pilot model to decentralize Covid management to ward level.
Decentralized approach will definitely yield faster results with lesser wait time..”
Streamlining the process of Covid care for timely and effective response
This holds significance because, there have been many instances where a Covid infected person does not know who to approach for Covid assistance. It starts with where one should get tested. For elderly folks and people with co-morbidities like heart ailments, diabetes etc, there is a need for hospitalisation for monitoring their health as Covid can initiate a set of complications in these high risk category of people who would have low immunity against Covid.
There is also the cost factor attached, testing and admission at private hospitals on your own is costly as well, which can be prohibitive for many people.
Diagnosis of Covid at the Ward’s Primary Health Care Centre, then further steps for Covid treatment
Our Ward's Primary Health Care Center is the main nucleus in providing effective Covid Care to Ward's residents
In my ward, Covid Management is done the following way. Anyone residing within the ward premises whether they have Covid symptoms or are asymptomatic can get tested at the Primary Health Care Center in our ward all free of cost.
Registration formalities are done taking note of the age of the person, symptoms if any of Covid-19, other pre-existing ailments prevalent - BP, heart, sugar etc. After this, the person is given a kit consisting of two swap sticks and a tube with pink colour liquid in it.
The person stands in a que and waits his turn for the test. The waiting period is short as testing happens quickly and que gets cleared fast.
Senior CItizens are not required to wait in the que, they would be tested on priority and their results would come within 25 minutes, as was the case with my Dad.
Our Ward's PHC, picture taken after que got lesser as testing is done fast here
Once results come, if positive, we are told to go home and our State Karnataka Govt.’s Covid Disaster Management Cell would call us and guide us on further course of action.
Follow up of Covid positive patients done after the testing procedure at the PHC
Last week, got calls from this Cell for my Dad. They wanted to see how they can assist Dad in whatever course of action he wanted to pursue, although hospitalization was what they seemed to convey Dad should recourse to, having taken note of the details of Dad that was revealed during registration as he tested positive for Covid.
However, still in my Dad’s case, hospitalisation was not what he was interested to do, not knowing which hospital he should be admitted for his treatment, as he wanted it clearly to be cost effective while also hygienic and reasonably comfortable.
My Flat’s Covid Response team too aided in facilitation of Dad’s hospitalization
Fortunately, in my flat too a Covid response team comprising of resident volunteers have formulated guidelines on how to act and manage covid when it strikes residents. One person in our flat volunteers with our ward’s Covid Management team and she arranged for the hospitalisation of Dad on priority . The Govt. arranged for an ambulance as well that came inside my flat for my Dad’s convenience so he need not walk till the gate. Therefore, in my Dad’s case Covid diagnosis, and hospitalisation for his treatment happened the same day.
Importance of Community for support and strength
This is all thanks to the efforts of a few people in collaboration with local ward Govt. and volunteers. It demonstrates the need for community, active CItizenry who participate and assist Govt. in such initiatives.
There has been too much emphasis on community spread of the virus, on the need to maintain social distance, however on the other hand the best way to manage the virus outbreak is community response towards the Covid affected, and community involvement maintaining safe distance but at the same time ensuring that no one is isolated. We forget, we are part of society, we need to be integrated as a community which benefits all of us within the community as we get enriched with needed support.
It’s almost like insurance when you are part of the community, and work with them, when disaster strikes you are covered with support. Being part of active communities integrates society at a time of social isolation, it’s also a way to be a part of the solution and change our society around us for the better.
More on my Covid experiences in the next part...