Telemedicine service needs be expanded in rural areas as it has played a big role for patients in home isolation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday in wake of gradual shift of covid-19 pandemic from urban to rural India.

Modi was interacting with a Group of Doctors from across the country, via video conferencing, to discuss the Covid related situation. He appreciated the doctors who are forming teams and providing telemedicine service in villages. “Doctors across the states should form similar teams, train final year MBBS students and MBBS interns, and work towards ensuring that all tehsils and districts of the country have telemedicine service,” said Modi.

Noting that a large number of patients are undergoing treatment in ‘home isolation’, the prime minister requested the doctors to ensure that the home-based care of every patient is SOP driven.

Prime Minister also discussed the challenge of Mucormycosis and said that doctors may need to put in extra effort towards taking active steps and spreading awareness about it. He further underscored the importance of psychological care, along with the importance of physical care. “Continuously fighting this long battle against the virus must be mentally challenging for the medical fraternity,” said Modi.

Doctors informed the Prime Minister about their preparedness since the first wave of Covid and the challenges they faced in the second wave. The doctors shared their experiences, best practices and the innovative efforts. They informed that in the fight against Covid, every effort is also being made to take proper care of non-Covid patients. They also shared their experiences of increasing awareness among the public, including about sensitising patients against improper use of medicines.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also interact with field officials from States and Districts to converse about their experience in handling the pandemic on Tuesday. Officials from Karnataka, Bihar, Assam, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, MP, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi will take part in the meeting, the prime minister office said in a statement.

Many of these districts have seen a huge surge in cases and widespread infection.

Through their interaction with the Prime Minister, the officials will share some best practices, in addition to suggestions and recommendations for continuing our ongoing battle against covid-19, especially in semi-urban and rural areas, the PMO said.

Many field level officials have shown great initiative and come out with imaginative solutions. A better appreciation of such initiatives will help towards developing effective response plan, targeted strategy implementation and support necessary policy interventions.

Many effective measures have been taken – from ensuring that strict containment measures are undertaken to control the spread, to preparing the healthcare facilities for handling the raging second wave, to ensuing availability of healthcare workforce and a seamless supply chain for logistics, these districts in their relentless efforts to manage the situation also have success stories that could be replicated across the country, the PMO said.

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