City Corpn. to redeploy COVID-19 staff

The Chennai Corporation plans to redeploy ambulance drivers, technicians, volunteers, doctors, nurses and other personnel following the decline in COVID-19 cases.

It has shifted focus to vaccination, prevention of deaths at home, follow-up of post-COVID-19 patients and support for the disabled and senior citizens.

Calls from residents to tele-counselling centres have come down to 50% of what they used to be because of the drop in the number of cases in the 15 zones, Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said. The Corporation also plans to redeploy doctors from tele-medicine services to vaccination.

Senior officials suggested a reduction in the number of volunteers. But Mr. Bedi has asked them to wait for a further reduction in cases.

“Fever survey workers and FOCUS volunteers are not being reduced. We have to see the effect after the lockdown is lifted. We have to further reduce the number,” he said.

“Since the number of patients in home quarantine has come down, we are utilising the final-year MBBS students for home-triaging. Up to the age of 45, we are doing home-triaging. We are sending them to each of the 200 wards,” he said.

“We have reduced the number of car ambulances. We have given them to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Whichever car ambulances are free, we are utilising them for vaccination of the disabled. Broadly, I don’t want any reduction in the number of volunteers until the situation returns to normal limits… after lockdown opens. Unless we are sure of having a grip on the situation, we don’t want to reduce our strength of fever survey workers and FOCUS volunteers… The number of doctors and nurses will remain the same,” Mr. Bedi said.

The Corporation has deployed 12,000 fever survey workers, 2,000 FOCUS volunteers, 1,500 volunteers from NGOs and 250 ambulance drivers, in addition to doctors, nurses and technicians, to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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