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Bengal to begin telemedicine services from July 1: Mamata

Bengal to begin telemedicine services from July 1: Mamata

Kolkata: In a major development in the state's healthcare sector, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced the introduction of state-run telemedicine facilities to help people acquire advice from doctors over the telephone for any sort of ailment without visiting hospitals in person.

"July 1, that is Doctors' Day, has been declared a state holiday. On the same day, at noon, the telemedicine facility will also be introduced," the Chief Minister said.

Initially, 12 phone numbers will be introduced through which people from across the state can make calls seeking advice from doctors. Soon, the phone numbers will be provided to all the district authorities to make people aware of the same. Subsequently, separate set-ups will be created for each district and there will be a separate set of numbers for each of the 23 districts, including Kolkata. One can seek advice on COVID-19 and other ailments as well.

The system is getting developed in such a way that the district from which a phone call is generated will get displayed at the receiver's end and at the same time, all the helplines will remain connected to the state Health headquarters in Kolkata.

The phone numbers will also be made available on the website of the state Health department. Details on the timing as to when the services will be available will also be announced soon. "We are working on the same and all details in this regard, including the phone numbers, will be announced on Tuesday," said state Health secretary Narayan Swarup Nigam.

The number of COVID-19 cases is witnessing a surge every day and in such a situation, many are apprehending to turn up at hospitals. Even many local health facilities and doctors' chambers are also shut in the wake of COVID-19. In such a situation, the telemedicine facility has come as a boon for the residents of the state.

In another major move, the state government is setting up Covid Warriors' Club in every district comprising people who have recovered from the infection. They will be lending support to those who are at present suffering from the disease. It has already started from Behrampore in Murshidabad where 60 people have agreed to enrol. The state government will be providing them with an honorarium, food and accommodation.

Ten each will serve at Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital and Malda Medical College and Hospital. The rest 40 will be deputed in various Covid healthcare facilities in Kolkata.

At present, the recovery rate in Bengal is 65 per cent. Already 12,000 people have recovered from the disease in the state.

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