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West Bengal sets up ‘COVID warrior club’ to help contain pandemic

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The initiative has started in Murshidabad district, comprising people who have recovered from the disease

In a unique initiative, the West Bengal government has set up a ‘COVID warrior club’ in Murshidabad district, comprising people who have recovered from the disease and are willing to aid the administration and health workers in containing the pandemic.

At present, 60 people who had recovered from the disease, have been enrolled as members of the club, set up at Berhampur in Murshidabad district, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.

“We held counselling sessions for those who had defeated COVID-19, and are now leading a normal life. Some of them have come forward to serve others suffering from the disease. They can work as helpers at different hospitals, serve food, or talk to other COVID-19 patients. They should not feel scared,” the chief minister said.

Of the 60 members, 10 each have agreed to work in Murshidabad Medical College and Malda Medical College, while 40 others will serve at the Kolkata Medical College and Hospital, Banerjee stated.

The government will pay the members an honorarium, and bear expenses of their food and accommodation, she said.

The CM insisted that her government will set up similar clubs in every district of Bengal.

“We request all those who have defeated the disease to come forward and serve others,” the CM said and asked the chief secretary and home secretary to issue instructions for constituting such clubs in other parts of the state.

Banerjee, who holds the health portfolio, said a telemedicine service to help patients who are unable to visit doctors amid the current pandemic, will soon be made functional.

“We are planning to start a telemedicine service on COVID-19 and other diseases. Hopefully, from July 1, we will be able to start the initiative. Several people are finding it difficult to visit doctors amid the lockdown. This initiative will give them a chance to consult doctors over the phone. There will be separate phone numbers allotted for every district,” she added.

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