Amid reports of procurement of 150 mobile phones worth Rs 20,000-25,000 under the Rogi Kalyan Samiti (RKS) for district administrative officials of North 24-Parganas, the West Bengal Doctors’ Forum (WBDF) suggested that they should be used in Covid-19 hospitals to connect patients with their family members.
WBDF’s Secretary Dr Koushik Chaki, said, “We have seen a news report regarding procurement of mobile phones and drew the attention of the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare. We felt that the phones should be used to help Covid-19 patients connect with their kin through video calls.”
The letter of the WBDF read, “We would like to draw your attention to the fact that North 24 Parganas is one of the districts worst-affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of procuring smart mobile phones, the money could have been utilised in procuring other equipment, consumables, drugs, food that are directly related to patient care, which is more beneficial to the patients.”
“As huge numbers of mobile phones have already been purchased, we would like to request you to utilise the smart phones along with SIM cards for establishment of video calling between patients and his/her relatives, which may alleviate anxiety of the members of the family of patients,” it said.
The Doctors’ Forum is hopeful that the Bengal government will consider their appeal and redistribute these mobile phones to designated COVID-19 hospitals.
Recently, the WBDF had raised concern over a possible increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the state after the festive season.
Further, the Forum requested that all registered medical professionals should be able to avail the RT-PCR tests at approved centers, including the private sectors in a hassle-free manner and free of cost by the state government as they have been dedicated to medical care in the most sensitive times.
West Bengal’s tally of COVID-19 Cases as on October 13, was 3,02,020 with 2,65,288 recoveries. The states recorded 5,744 deaths.
The rate of discharge is 87.84 per cent and the total number of hospitals dedicated for treating COVID-19 stand at 92.