‘1929 Bhubaneswar Helpline’ provides round-the-clock service again

Bhubaneswar: The one-stop solution for the citizens of the Temple City, ‘1929 Bhubaneswar Helpline’, has gone 24X7 once again from yesterday with 30 call centre executives managing the centre at the Bhubaneswar Operations Centre of the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL).

This dedicated 24X7 helpline is a collaborative effort of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), BSCL and Bhubaneswar Development Authority to help citizens during the pandemic. The call centre executives are now work in three shifts right from 8 am to 2 pm, 2 pm to 10 pm and in the night shift, respectively.

Earlier, the helpline was operating from March 19 to June 28 on three shifts but then there were only incoming calls to manage. However, during June 29 to July 15 the call centre was not operational with a drastic drop in positive cases and the executives were shifted to BMC COVID Control Room.

From July 16 the 1929 Call Centre started working in two shifts and has managed to handle 30,643 outgoing calls and 2,533 incoming calls till September 6 to assist people facing difficulties due to the Novel Corona virus disease. In each shift five persons were working as the COVID-19 cases were low.
However, the city authorities under the leadership of BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary decided to start the ‘1929 Bhubaneswar Helpline’ in the 24X7 mode again from September 7, with a major spike in the positive cases.

The 24X7 `1929 Bhubaneswar Helpline’ will handle all queries related to COVID-19 pandemic and information service, counselling by trained psychologists and psychiatric social worker, medical and health advice and grievance redressal.

“It will greatly help as a one-stop solution for citizens of the State Capital for all COVID-19 related queries,’’ informed Parul Patawari, Additional Commissioner BMC.

While the Information Service delivery involves providing details on the public health service providers/institutions, diagnostic services, COVID Care Centres, COVID Care Homes and Dedicated COVID hospitals, the trained psychologists and psychiatric social worker will deal with stress, depression, anxiety and post-trauma recovery counselling.

The medical and health advice for most common disease/health issues will deal with cough, cold, fever, dietary and nutritional counselling and hygiene related issues. Four doctors will join the call centre for this purpose very soon.

The grievance redressal will take up complaint registration about person/institutions relating to deficiency in public service and negligence etc. in government-run health-care institutions.

Like the earlier arrangement, while the call centre executives will handle outbound calls relating to home isolation patients, COVID Care Centres, COVID Care Homes and Dedicated COVID Hospital patients, ICU patients and their families, COVID Warriors like healthcare workers in different COVID facilities, BMC, BDA and BSCL frontline workers, COVID “Sachetaks’’ and information regarding the daily shifting plan confirmation.

Through inbound calls, the citizens can flag their queries related to COVID-19 like information on Testing Centres, deployment of Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), home isolation, disinfection drives, ambulances and COVID health-care facilities.

The psycho-social counselling at the “1929 Call Centre’’ started on August 29 as majority of the people in home isolation started contacting the call centre. The patients are no longer anxious, stressed and fearful about the disease, thanks to the initiatives by two clinical psychologists and one psychiatric social worker. These three counsellors from Capital Hospital Bhubaneswar are deputed by the Health and Family Welfare Department.

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