Guwahati, India, May 13, 2020 -- The government health helpline 104, has proved to be a boon for people in the state. Since the lockdown was announced in March, health experts on this number have been busy answering calls which have totalled nearly 4.5 lakh as of now.
The latest statistics available between March 24 and May 8 have shown that the Sarathi 104 health helpline has entertained nearly 4,48,560 calls, out of which 2,28,811 are related to Covid-19. The rest of the calls are regarding other ailments. Supported by Piramal Swasthya, this number has been acting as a bridge between the government and communities by offering validated medical advice to callers 24x7.
Paresh Parasnis, CEO, Piramal Foundation, said their objective is to support the central and state governments' efforts to address the pandemic even in the most remote corners. "The helpline proved to be a simple and effective tool to share validated information as per the guidelines of WHO and the ministry of health and family welfare, especially for people who are not technology savvy or live in areas where access to the media is challenging," said Parasnis.
He added that the initiative has helped in creating awareness and bringing down anxiety and fear in society caused due to the virus.
The state governments of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar have announced the helpline as a one stop solution for all Covid-19 queries and grievances. In order to deal with the increased number of calls, the frontline staff team has been significantly expanded. Currently, over 1,200 staff across various centres, including paramedics, counsellors and doctors are relentlessly attending to calls related to health advice, counselling, information and reporting.
The helpline was launched in 2006 to provide information on health-related queries and advice.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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