Amid crisis, a group of officials in Delhi shows the way forward


Express News Service

While the city’s administration is grappling to contain the viral surge and manage the oxygen crisis, a group of government employees are toiling to provide timely help to Covid patients in all possible ways.

They are the staff deployed at Covid Command Centre (CCC) set up in Saraswati Vihar sub-division, which functions for 17 hours in three shifts, under the Northwest district.

On Monday night, one of its nodal officers Sushil Gupta shifted an elderly couple aged 82 and 78 who had tested positive for Covid and critical, to hospital and ensured they got immediate medical attention.

“The centre received a call from IPS officer Kanika Gupta, who is in Hyderabad, that her critically ill grandparents needed immediate hospitalisation. The call was made around 11:30 pm. I was assigned the task. The entire family was Covid positive except one woman member, but she could not help. I arranged an ambulance from Max hospital in Shalimar Bagh and shifted them to ambulance and got them admitted to the hospital,” said Sushil. 

“I couldn’t arrange a personal protective equipment (PPE) hence I only used a mask and gloves to help the couple,” he added.

“Had they not been given treatment on time, anything could have happened to them. The patients were on the first floor and neighbours were reluctant to help. Only the ambulance staff helped Sushil. The medical superintendent of Max Hospital Dr Archana Bajaj also played a crucial role in saving the patients,” said Dr Mohammad Rehan Raza, Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Saraswati Vihar, who is in-charge of the centre. The command centre is the initiative of district magistrate (DM) Northwest, Cheshta Yadav.

The centre, formed on April 17, has a team of 16 staff. The first shift starts at 9 am and night shift continues till 2 am. Till April 30, it received 425 calls for help from Covid patients or from their families. The centre has provided Remdesivir and plasma for six patients so far.   

Besides facilitating hospital beds including intensive care units (ICUs) for 72 individuals, 71 oxygen cylinders and 61 Covid tests were also arranged by the team.   

The SDM’s team has also managed hospitalisation for Covid patients in other states also in the past. 

“Though the shift is over by 2 pm, they continue to work till 4 to 5 am as our motive is to serve each individual who approaches us with hope. I also attend calls myself. Monday’s case was very critical. We treated them as our parents,” said Raza.

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