indica News Bureau-
After the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday characterized the COVID-19 outbreak as a “pandemic” and expressed deep concern over its “alarming levels” of “spread, severity, as well as in action”, an Indian-American non-profit organization, Sewa International, activated a helpline in the US to guide patients about the coronavirus, precautionary measures and treatment centers.
Sewa International that started in India in 1989, is now active in 20 countries, including the US. The members of the organization have started the helpline to help the citizens of America.
Achalesh Amar, the organization’s director for disaster relief, said, “A task force was set up to come up with a comprehensive approach to the pandemic after plugging into resources offered by different government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), various departments of county and city.”
Based on the recommendations of the task force, the organization is activating a helpline for non-medical advice in midwest, Northeast, and Western United States. The organization is also sending warnings and texts to citizens to take precautionary measures against the virus, especially for senior citizens and children.
“We are especially concerned about the population with weak immune systems, like seniors, the sick, or very young children. We are circulating WhatsApp messages with helpful information on how to prepare and take precautions,” president of Sewa International Sree Sreenath told PTI.
“The biggest concern among the Indian-American community is about schools as every district is responding differently to the evolving situation, and most parents are not aware of the relaxation in attendance norms,” said Swadesh Katoch, organization’s Vice President for disaster relief.
Along with circulating messages on social media, the organization is also conducting regular webinars and distributing flyers with information from various authentic sources and experts on matters such as the difference between flu and COVID-19, preventive measures, and techniques to reduce anxiety.
The coronavirus has so far claimed more than 4500 lives all over the world, including 37 in USA. So far 124,000 people across 107 countries and territories have been infected by the virus with 1300 cases surfacing in the US.
A number of US States have declared a state of emergency with cities and counties announcing to take sweeping measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The Trump administration has also suspended several international flights to prevent the infection from spreading further.
[Based on the recommendations of the taskforce: Sewa International is activating a hotline/helpline for non-medical advice at 281 909 SEWA (281909 7392) for the Midwest, 708 872 SEWA (708 872 7392) and 302 330 SEWA (302 330 7392) for the Northeast, and 203 872 SEWA (203 872 7392) for the Western United States”]