CHENNAI: To tackle the pandemic second wave, 10 FOCUS (Friends of Covid Persons Under Surveillance) volunteers have been deployed in each City Corporation division from Thursday onwards. In addition to their earlier duties, including keeping tabs on patients under home isolation, assisting them, and distributing kabasura kudineer, they have to now allay residents’ fears and doubts on the vaccine, a senior Corporation official told Express.
A FOCUS volunteer in division 133 said, “Our work starts at 7 am and we leave for home by 5 pm. But even after that, some patients may contact us for purchasing food or medicines since they are under quarantine.” Some of the volunteers whom Express spoke to said they were not vaccinated yet despite working in the frontline.
“Most of us started work only today. The authorities have promised to vaccinate us by this Sunday. It will be provided immediately to those aged above 45 years,” another volunteer said. They also added that despite an increase in workload this time around, the daily wage has been reduced by Rs 100.
“We are provided only Rs 400 per day, though we also take up containment duties now. Earlier there was a separate team for that. The residents are responding well to us, and are going to vaccine camps proactively,” the volunteer added. The Corporation has also increased the number of fever clinics to contain the spread and detect cases early.