HUBBALLI: With the COVID-19 outbreak of in the state, the health helpline (104) has been very busy and receiving over 40,000 calls per day from across the state. People, spooked by the spread of the deadly virus, have been calling the helpline from nooks and corners of the state seeking advice and help from the state health and family welfare department.
The helpline, Arogyavani, was set up at Hubballi in 2013. Working like a BPO, hundreds of trained staff attend calls and transmit basic information to the caller. If the caller is not satisfied with their answer, the call is transferred to a medical professional, who will answer the query. As the Hubballi helpline started getting numerous calls, another centre was set up in Bengaluru. Both of them are now handling calls from across the state, which are mainly related to COVID-19 now.
Those suffering form cold and fever, and suspect themselves to be infected by coronavirus too have been calling the helpline seeking guidance. In such cases, the helpline staff contact the nearest health facility and pass on the information. A senior officer at the helpline said, “If anyone is suffering from health issues and is suspected to be coronavirus-positive, we immediately inform the nearby hospital, or the First Respond Hospital (FRH), through system-generated messages. The same message is sent to the patient’s mobile number too. Once the patient shows the message at the hospital, he/she will get priority in treatment,” he said.