Published On : Sat, Apr 17th, 2021

Are NMC helplines proving to be a damp squib?

Nagpur: Even as the Second Capital is in vice like grip of deadly Covid-19, the helplines started by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) are proving to be damp squib. The calls to the helplines either go unanswered or of little help, lamented the tormented patients and their relatives.

Sometimes the helplines are either busy non-stop or routine replies, such as ‘beds are full’ are doled out. The NMC employees manning the helplines are hopelessly ill-equipped to inform availability of crucial drugs like Remdesivir injections. In many cases, the civic employees inform patients and relatives to directly go to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) if beds are unavailable anywhere. However, when they reach there with the patient in an ambulance, the security guards don’t even allow them entry citing heavy rush inside the Covid ward.

According to reports, even the portal started for providing real-time updates on bed vacancy was hardly of any use. Whenever they called the hospitals showing vacancy, they replied in the negative.

NMC version:
Refuting the allegations, NMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Jalaj Sharma said their helpline centre is handling many calls every day for various issues including allocation of beds. “As soon as a patient gets discharged, there’s a long waiting list and the bed fills up immediately. Every day more than 800 admissions are taking place which means that the same number of patients are getting beds on an average,” he said, adding that there is a lot of pressure from patients’ relatives for beds on the helpline personnel. Sharma further said that the supply of Remdesivir and other crucial drugs was handled by the Collector’s office and hence NMC has no role to play in its distribution, he said.

When asked why the helplines staffers suggested all patients to go to GMCH if beds were unavailable, the NMC official said it was the most preferred for Covid-19 treatment by most.