16 million Covid warriors lead the battle against the virus
From March to June this year, Nurse Bimlesh Kain, 57, woke up every morning at 5 a.m. and traveled 30 km from her home in Rohini to report to work at the Lok Nayak Hospital, run by the government of Delhi, at 8.30 in the morning. Dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE), Kain was at the nursing station in the hospital’s Covid-19 ward for a nearly 11-hour shift. That was his life for much of those months.
“I started working in the Covid-19 department in March, when the Covid-19 list was formulated, and I was on active Covid-19 duty until June. It was an exhausting experience, ”he says. Kain is currently in isolation after being diagnosed with Covid-19 and is awaiting her next assignment at another government hospital.
Kain is also one of India’s Covid-19 warriors, as they are called, a force of healthcare workers, volunteers from ASHA and Anganwadi workers and people from fire departments, whose number is now approaching 16. million (15.89) according to a maintained database. by the Ministry of Information Technologies of the Union government. It’s a number that has risen since April, when there were 11 million Covid warriors, and more are being recruited to help India and Indians fight a viral disease for which there is no vaccine yet, although health workers are they have gotten progressively better at saving lives. The disease, first recorded in India on January 30 in a Kerala student, has infected 8,764,826 people across the country since then, killing 129,129.
But 8,154,463 of those infected have recovered and many have not required hospitalization, and India’s fatality rate of 1.48% compares well with 2.44% for the world. – a statistic in which Covid-19 warriors like Kainyou can be proud.
According to the details available on covidwarriors.gov.in, these overall figures include around 900,000 doctors, 150,000 MBBS students, 1.75 million nurses, 1.12 million pharmacists, 830,000 Ayurvedic doctors, 3.5 million workers from ASHA and Anganwadi, 3.5 million members of Nehru Yuva Kendra. Sangathan (a voluntary grassroots youth organization) and 2.5 million members of the National Service Scheme, another voluntary student organization.
While the role of doctors, nurses and pharmacists is clear, the others perform critical tasks such as overseeing quarantine facilities, helping with contact tracing, and even monitoring lockdown restrictions. ASHA and Anganwadi workers, in particular, are on the front lines of the state’s war against the virus in rural areas.
“Covid-19 warriors have different roles in the broader Covid-19 management scheme, as we call warriors even those patients who have recovered from the disease and now volunteer to raise awareness about the disease, the need for testing and Covid-19 appropriate behavior, among other things. States are making use of these people. Then there are the front-line workers, members of civil defense, NGOs, etc., who are also our crown warriors, ”said an official from the Ministry of Health, who wished to remain anonymous.
“Then there are ASHA workers who contribute to disease surveillance, especially in containment zones in many states, doing door-to-door visits, mapping homes for high-risk cases,” the official added.
Around 1.36 million Covid-19 warriors have received training on the Integrated Government Online Training (iGOT) platform.
The platform is an inter-ministerial collaboration, and individual ministries can upload content to the website according to their individual requirements.
“There are web modules created to teach, for example, biomedical waste management, how to dispose of personal protective equipment, infection control and hygiene practices, and so on. These have been created in a fast and easy-to-learn format, ”said a senior government official who asked not to be named.
The Covid-19 warrior dashboard itself is under the control of one of the empowered groups established by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March to combat Covid-19. Previously, such a database was not available. The dashboard is developed and maintained by the National Computer Center under the Ministry of Information and Technology.
Experts said that it is always useful to have an exact idea of the human resource at hand.
“In an outbreak situation, it is a good idea to have a comprehensive roster of skilled workforce that can be utilized based on a state’s requirements,” says Dr. MC Misra, former director of the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences at Delhi.