SAMBALPUR: For almost two weeks now, Saloni Jain, a member of Rapid Response Team (RRT) has been on her toes. While her mornings are spent moving around the narrow lanes of the city checking on patients in home isolation, the evenings are spent making phone calls to infected patients to inquire about their well-being and counselling. Even after 10 to 12 hours of duty, she remains alert in the night to attend to emergency calls from patients.
A lot many women like Saloni - some medical officers, many anganwadi and ASHA workers - are a part of the city’s RRTs formed for Covid management by the Sambalpur administration.A total of nine RRTs with two doctors in each team have been formed by the administration. Fourteen doctors in the RRTs are women. Their duty begins at 8 am every day with visits to various localities across the 41 wards in the city where the patients are under home isolation. Since, 90 per cent of the patients in the city are under home isolation, they have to visit around 40 to 50 households on an average daily.
They monitor the health parameters of the patients, inquire about their condition and take a note of their medicine requirements. In the evening, they get a fresh list of patients to follow-up over phone and also distribute medicine kits to those in need.The duty hours end at 9:30 pm but work does not stop. They have to remain alert to address distress calls at odd hours or arrange for ambulances for patients who need to be shifted to hospital.
“We face a tough time dealing with the patients over phone. The Covid patients are mentally very weak and panic a lot. We have to counsel and assure them that they will be fine. In some cases, the patients get frustrated and shout at us. But we give our best to calm them down. We check on their health over the phone and remind them about their medicines”, said Saloni.
Officials informed, as many as 200 ASHA workers, 363 anganwadi workers and 35 ANM are a part of the active surveillance teams formed under the ward level Covid management committees. These women are playing a key role in keeping a record of the patients in their designated locality, regularly visiting them and sensitising the other people in the neighbourhood about Covid precautions. They are the first person to contact and are working relentlessly towards containing the virus spread.
The participation of a maximum number of women in Covid management in the district is drawing appreciation from all quarters. Saloni said the job has its own challenges and gets very hectic at times. “But I am happy to lend a hand in this fight against Covid-19 virus”, she said with a smile.