Indian-American doctors launch telemedicine helpline for COVID-19 patients

A group of several Indian-American doctors is using the internet and apps to provide free healthcare consultancy to those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
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An Indian-American group led by several doctors, who trace their origin to Bihar and Jharkhand, has launched a free telemedicine helpline for COVID-19 patients back home.

Led by Dr Avinash Gupta, who is president of Bihar and Jharkhand Association of North America (BJANA), and several of Indian-American doctors, the group is using the internet and apps to provide free healthcare consultancy to those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

"This is part of our effort to help in whatever way we can with our people back home, said Alok Kumar, former FIA president.

In the first few days, nearly a dozen doctors have been able to provide free tele help to scores of COVID-19 patients.

Lack of awareness is one of the major things that the doctors have noticed. BAJNA has tied up with two local NGOs, Aashtha and Asha, to support this cause. In addition to one-to-one consultancy, BJANA doctors are also organising Zoom sessions to share details of the various aspects of COVID-19.

BJANA is also working to send essential medical supplies to Patna, Kumar said.

India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days. Hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.

In another development. researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Bhopal have developed an affordable oxygen concentrator to meet the high demand for medical oxygen amid a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The device, which is estimated to cost less than Rs 20,000, can provide 93-95 percent pure oxygen with a flow rate of up to 3 litre/minute, they said.

According to the team, the device, which costs around Rs 60,000-70,000 at present, has been developed as a solution to tackle the oxygen shortage amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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