How 500+ Teachers In Mumbai Are Connecting COVID-19 Patients To Healthcare Facilities!

It is like any other day for Vishranti Jadhav. After finishing her daily chores, she heads for work. She is a teacher at Ketkipada BMC School in Borivali. COVID-19 has completely changed her life and the way she used to teach kids.

But what remained the same was the josh, the temperament and the dedication to influence people’s lives in a better way.

Hence she, along with 500+ other civic teachers, joined hands together to fight the deadly coronavirus in her own way!

“I cannot find a bed for a patient!”
“Help us locate an ICU bed!”
“Where can I get the vaccine near my residence?”

These are some of the queries the 45-year-old comes across nowadays. And as mentioned, she is not the only one.

As of this writing, 547 civic school teachers across the city are working at BMC’s war rooms to assist COVID-19 patients!!

As the summer vacation has already started for schools, all the civic teachers have been assigned to COVID-19 related work.

These teachers are working under the guidance of medical and administrative professionals and are generally the first point of contact between COVID-19 patients and the healthcare system. And they are responsible for everything — from managing angry and hopeless citizens to pacifying struggling patients and their families to responding to calls filled with gratitude — they are responsible for acknowledging every single call.

“Some of the calls really shook us, especially when the callers would almost beg to locate an ICU bed for their loved ones, and we were helpless. We were noting down all requirements and connecting them with vacant places wherever possible,” said Priya Sawant, another civic teacher from Ashokwan Municipal School in Borivali.

© Provided by Scroll

“The wife tested positive, but since she had absolutely no symptoms, the doctor asked the couple to remain home-quarantined. The woman was really stressed after knowing all other things happening around, and her husband asked me to talk to her to calm her down. I was tense thinking if I would really help her calm down, but after speaking to her, she felt relieved,” said Vishranti Jadhav, who did not fail to provide mental support to her callers.

© Provided by Scroll

“This was a completely different experience where we felt a great sense of social connection as we helped callers meet their needs or resolve their Covid-19 disease or vaccine-related queries!”

said another teacher, Krishna Yadav.

“They have the experience of handling a class full of children from different psychological backgrounds, and it has really helped at COVID-19 war rooms. A total of 547 teachers are appointed to do this work,” said BMC’s education officer, Mahesh Palkar.

In a city that is one of the most active hotspots of COVID-19, several teachers are working every single day without expecting anything in return. They are posted in the war rooms for a 15-day duty chart on rotation for almost four to five hours daily.

There is something called ‘going beyond work calls’, and these teachers are going beyond their assigned roles every day. In a time when people are struggling for a hospital bed and world’s most common chemical, oxygen, even an “everything will be fine” sounds nothing less than a bright light!

A warm tribute and salute to these people who we do not really think about in our daily lives — every bit matters — and every story deserves to be heard! #CovidWarriors

ALSO READ: Meet the samaritans providing meals to needy and COVID-19 patients for free!

Meet The Samaritans Providing Meals To Needy And COVID-19 Patients For Free!

What adds to the agony of COVID-19 is the level of helplessness a person experiences — with no resources available around, people suffer to the extent that is unexplainable.

Be it a COVID-19 patient or a frontline worker, or someone low on finances — the unavailability of resources, particularly food, is one of the major sufferings right now.

Several people have come forward to fight this and are offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients in their locations. Here are some of those good samaritans NextBigWhat salutes to!

‘Food for Kashmir’ by ‘Tiffin Aaw’

When Rayees Ahmad, co-founder, ‘Tiffin Aaw’, started getting calls from people outside Kashmir requesting to deliver food to their COVID-19 positive parents, the food entrepreneur decided to start this campaign, ‘Food for Kashmir’.

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by DNA

“We are a small startup, and it’s just been a year. People are calling us; we are giving food to people without asking for money. And among those people only, some get so emotional and tell us that they want to sponsor other COVID-19 positive family’s or patients,” said the co-founder, Nida Rayees.

The husband-wife duo delivers home-cooked meals to needy and COVID-19 patients, their families, and COVID-19 warriors for free. They have decided to keep this initiative going till the pandemic is not over.

Nisha Bhagat — The superwoman from Ranchi

This tribal woman running her own cafe in Ranchi decided to convert her business into service for the families suffering from COVID-19. She offers breakfast and meals to needy and COVID-19 patients for free.

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by DNA

It all began when Nisha got a call from a woman asking for home-cooked and deliverable ‘khichdi’. “She was ready to pay whatever…I was a bit surprised because people generally don’t order that simple food over the phone. Then the caller told me the sad part; everyone in that family had turned COVID-19 positive, and none of them was physically fit enough to cook food. I took the order and sent it out. That set me thinking why not provide free food to such families,” she said.

Nisha takes extra care of nutrition and cleanliness while preparing the meals and ensures that no one is denied food by her.

‘Covid Meals For India’ by Chef Saransh Goila

When the Goila Butter Chicken (GBC) founder received a DM on Instagram to help a girl with organising her meals who had lost her immediate family to Covid-19, it struck him hard.

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by Forbes India

“It’s heartbreaking. When you are stressed about finding hospital beds or oxygen for your near and dear ones or even grieving deaths in families, the last thing you want to worry about is what am I going to eat. There was a big gap here, and I knew I had to step in,” said Goila.

Along with the co-founder of Fastor, Karan Sood, he launched covidmealsforindia.com on April 25, 2021, to ensure that none of the affected or needy families sleeps empty stomach. The portal connects COVID-19 affected individuals with those willing to cook a meal for them for either free or nominal costs.

‘Feed The Poor’ by D Surender Babu

“We often neglect the people who live in rural areas during the time of crisis. The fact is that they are the ones who are most affected. People affected by coronavirus in villages do not have enough financial support, so I decided to provide them with minimal facilities. People can check out feedthepoor.in and then fill in their details as to what they want to donate,” said the Hyderabad man.

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by Indiatimes

He runs the web portal, ‘Feed The Poor’, to aid people in the rural areas by providing food and medicines. He and his team often rely on donations to fight the crisis.

The superwomen of Patna

Anupama Singh and her sister Neelima, along with their mother, Kundan Devi, are becoming the messiahs for those infected in the city. While Anupama and her mother cook at home, sister Neelima ensures safe delivery to COVID-19 affected families. 

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by TNIE

“Recently, a member of my family tested positive for the virus. We realised how it is difficult for virus-infected people to get meals while living in self-isolation. Hence, we started serving free food packets to the homes of coronavirus-infected patients living in self-isolation as a service to humanity at our own cost,” said Anupama. “We have dedicated all our savings, which were kept for marriage, anniversaries, birthday functions, purchasing clothes and doing other household work for the next one year, to continue serving free foods to the COVID-19 patients.”

Yes, the fight is long, but people are fighting — and ensuring that no one faces it alone. NextBigWhat salutes these less known heroes! #CovidWarriors

How are you doing your bit? Share with us, and we will share it with the world — because every story deserves to be heard!

ALSO Read: Triplet siblings raises over $280,000 for medical supplies in India!

What Is Proning? How Can It Help You Increase Oxygen Levels At Home?

With the ongoing second COVID-19 wave, the country is witnessing an acute shortage of beds and oxygen cylinders. The continuous surge in daily cases has overburdened the hospitals. As a result, patients experiencing severe implications of the virus, or having oxygen saturation level below 92% are getting admitted to the hospital. 

Since the virus mainly attacks the respiratory system of a healthy human being, the government has advised the people to practice the medically approved technique of ‘Proning’. Now, if you are wondering what Proning is or how you can practice it, hang in there. You will get answers to all your queries by the end of the article. 

What is Proning?

Proning refers to the ‘lying position’ on your chest and stomach while practicing deep breathing. It is a medically approved process and helps in improving the oxygenation of the body. The position is considered efficient in providing oxygen to various parts of the body, which is usually not possible when we lay on our sides or back. 

You might be surprised to know that the technique is not new at all. It has been there for decades and used in the treatment of patients with acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS).  According to a study published in the European Journal, 2002, it was referred to as “a simple and safe method to improve oxygenation”.

How does it help COVID-19 patients?

The COVID-19 virus attacks your lungs and weakens your respiratory system. As a consequence, the oxygen levels in your body continue to fall, and might even result in death in some cases. The best way to monitor your oxygen levels is through an Oxi Pulse meter.

[Also Watch: Start Double Masking Today: Here is How To #ProtectYourself​]

The reading on an Oxi Pulse meter for a healthy individual would be 95 or above. On the other hand, below 95 is an indication that you need to consult a health professional. Any drop below 92 means you need to be hospitalised and require oxygen support. 

If you aren’t able to get any bed in these tough times, first isolate yourself. Make sure the room of isolation is properly ventilated and receives fresh air for most times of the day. Now, practicing proning in such a case will not only help you in oxygenation but also delays the ventilator support that you might require earlier. Awake proning ensures that the tissues in your body receive a proper flow of oxygen. The other best feature of the practice is that it improves your oxygen level in a matter of minutes.

How to do Proning? 

There are two ways to do it: 

Pillow-Proning: As described by the Indian Health Ministry

According to the instructions prescribed, lay down on your chest and stomach and place a pillow under your neck. Place two under your chest and one under your shins. In this position, practice deep breathing. In a matter of a few minutes, you will be able to witness an improvement in your oxygen levels. 

The 30-minute method

According to this method, you need to switch your lying position every 30 minutes. The method involves the following steps:

Step 1: Lying on your stomach — Duration: 30 minutes
Step 2: Lying on the Right Side — Duration: 30 minutes
Step 3: Sitting up at an angle between 60-90 degrees (Fowler position) — Duration: 30 minutes
Step 4: Lying on the Left Side — Duration: 30 minutes
Step 5: Return to your initial position

You can choose to extend the exercise from 30 minutes to 2 hours. All you need to ensure is that you are not in an uncomfortable position while proning.

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Are the effects of Proning permanent?

Even though proning seems the best way to improve oxygenation, it is yet to be seen whether its effects are permanent or it’s just one way to delay mechanical ventilation. Apart from that, it is advised that pregnant women, a person with spinal injury or history, increased intracranial pressure, and open abdomen wounds avoid proning at all costs. 

You should practice it only when you are awake. While sleeping, you can choose to sleep in your usual posture. 

These are some of the important things you should know about proning!

#StayHome #StaySafe

Also Read: Vaccine for 18+ above: How to apply? All you need to know!

Oxygen Saturation Level: What Is The Correct Level? All You Need To Know!

COVID -19 cases are surging across India. More than 3 lakh cases are registered daily, and yet India is left to attain its peak. With this increased number of cases surging every day, the health care system of India is on the verge of collapse.

The medical equipment shortages have now started to begin, and people are experiencing a lack of beds in the hospital. The second wave of COVID-19 has affected India more than its first wave. A great many number of people infected are experiencing serious respiratory problems.

People with prolonged diseases such as blood pressure problems or diabetes are affected more by it. As the virus targets the lungs, the need for oxygen is rising throughout the country. People are suffering to get an oxygen cylinder.

Many are stockpiling the cylinders for the worst case, not knowing how much this is affecting those who are really in need of oxygen.

People need to understand that not everyone would need an oxygen cylinder; neither everyone will have the same saturation level of oxygen.

We are writing today to discuss more around this: oxygen saturation levels, its correct and recommended level in which a COVID-19 patient should be in and the warning sign that tells you to prepare for worse scenarios.

Symptoms and early precautions

Quick recap on some of the most common symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Common cold symptoms such as sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhoea
  • High Fever
  • Loss of smell and taste

[Also Watch: Start Double Masking Today: Here is How To #ProtectYourself​]

If these symptoms are detected at early stages, then the recovery process can be done at a much faster rate. Precautions that a person should take are:

  • Self-quarantining 
  • Daily yoga and exercise
  • Vitamin c enriched diet
  • Consultation with any healthcare advisor
  • Sanitizing and washing hands thoroughly after touching any surface.
  • Monitoring blood saturation level regularly on having any of COVID-19 symptoms.

What is a blood oxygen level?

Blood oxygen level is the level that allows the circulation of oxygen in your blood. This oxygen in the blood is carried out by red blood cells whose routine involves collecting oxygen from the lungs and distributing it to the other parts of the body.

The human body keeps blood oxygen levels and monitors them to keep them in a specified range. This ensures that every cell of the human body gets the oxygen they need.

Blood oxygen level indicates a person’s health and how the distribution of oxygen from the lungs to the cell is taking place. Different oxygen levels indicate other health conditions of a person.

The average oxygen saturation level

The average oxygen saturation level in the human body lies from 90 to 100 %. Below 90% is considered a low category level that requires close monitoring, and the patient may need oxygen.

Patients with oxygen saturation levels ranging from 92 -93 or 98 -99 may not require the use of oxygen. Only the close monitoring of the patients with 92-93 is recommended in this scenario. Many doctors advise not to take any high oxygen if the patient’s saturation level is in the range of 95-100.

People with chronic or acute respiratory diseases may require extra attention; a person with acute respiratory may need oxygen if its saturation level falls below 93. They should also immediately consult doctors for immediate oxygen supplementation.

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The low oxygen saturation level

If your oxygen saturation level falls below 94%, then it’s considered low, and the need for medical oxygen may arise. Extremely low saturation levels may result in a condition known as hypoxemia.

Symptoms of low oxygen saturation levels:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sense of euphoria
  • Confusion
  • Visual disorders

How can you measure oxygen saturation levels?

With the help of a pulse oximeter, one can easily know their oxygen saturation levels. You just have to put any one of your fingers inside the oximeter; within seconds, your oxygen saturation level will be indicated on the oximeter screen.

If your oxygen saturation level drops below 94, you are recommended to get medical assistance immediately.

In these times, it’s indispensable for people to follow COVID-19 guidelines and follow a self-care and safety routine to stay healthy as the country is experiencing a shortage of medical supplies.

#StaySafe #StayHome 

Also Read: Vaccine for 18+ above: How to apply? All you need to know!

Vaccine for 18+ above: How to apply? All you need to know!

The second wave of Covid-19 is a deadly reminder that the battle against the virus is not over yet. Even though we are the largest vaccine producer in the world, we are far from being a vaccinated nation as a whole. The continuous surge in COVID-19 cases has forced the government to take some necessary actions in such situations. 

This includes the opening of a vaccination drive for all adults above the age of 18. This begins on May 1st, and registrations for the same starts from April 28 on the CoWin portal and the Arogya Setu App. 

Important Announcements by the Government

Apart from opening the vaccination drive for everyone above 18 years of age, the government also announced that other bodies like the state governments and private hospitals are allowed to approach the vaccine manufacturer directly. 

With the commencement of the third vaccination drive, the vaccine manufacturers will supply 50% of their lot to the central government. The rest 50% will be available for the open market, private hospitals and the state governments. 

The central government vaccination programme will continue as before for health professionals, frontline workers and citizens above 45 years of age. 

How to register for the COVID-19 vaccine on the CoWin platform?

  1. Visit www.cowin.gov.in.
  2. Click on Register/Sign In Yourself
  3. Enter your mobile number in the space provided, click get OTP.
  4. You will receive an OTP on your phone number. 
  5. Enter the received OTP and click “Verify”.
  6. The registration page for vaccination will open. Choose the photo ID proof you wish to upload.
  7. Fill in the necessary details like your name, age, and gender. Now upload an identity document.
  8. Click “Register”.
  9. Once you are done with registration, click on “Account Details”.
  10. Any registered citizen can choose to add three more people by clicking the “Add More” button. 
  11. Now click on the ‘Schedule appointment’ button to make an appointment.
  12. Depending on the choice of your state, district, block, and pin code, you can search a vaccination centre.
  13. The data and availability for the same vaccination centre will be displayed to you.
  14. Click ‘book’ to confirm the appointment. 
  15. Once confirmed, you will get a message with the necessary details. Show these details at the vaccination centre for verification. 

How to register for the COVID-19 vaccine on Arogya Setu App?

  1. Open Arogya Setu. If you don’t have it yet, you can download it from the Play Store. 
  2. On the homepage, tap on the ‘CoWIN’ tab.
  3. You will be able to see four options, namely – Vaccine Information, Vaccination, Vaccination Certificate, and Vaccination Dashboard.
  4. Select the “Vaccination” tab and then tap on “Register Now”.
  5. Enter your mobile number in the space provided and then tap “proceed to verify”.
  6. You’ll receive an OTP. Enter the same in the same provided and tap “proceed to verify” again.
  7. Once you’re done with mobile number verification, upload a photo ID card from your files.
  8. Fill in the necessary details like age, gender, year of birth.
  9. Unlike the CoWin portal, you can add four beneficiaries here.
  10. Depending on your choice of state, district, block, and pin code, the available vaccination sites will be displayed to you. 
  11. Choose any one that suits you the best and tap on the “Book” option.
  12. Once done, you will receive the necessary details through SMS. Show the same on the day of vaccination for verification.

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Many states have announced free vaccination for their people. States that are offering COVID-19 vaccine for free are:

  1. Karnataka
  2. Ladakh
  3. Delhi
  4. Odisha
  5. Uttarakhand
  6. Gujarat
  7. Rajasthan
  8. Maharashtra
  9. Assam
  10. Bihar
  11. Madhya Pradesh
  12. Sikkim

Which vaccines are available in the country?

Mainly two vaccines available to the citizens of the country right now. One is Covishield, which is developed and marketed by Serum Institute of India. The other one is Covaxin, which has been developed by Bharat BioTech Ltd. Apart from these two vaccines, Sputnik V of Russia has been approved too, considering its high effectiveness. 

Will the vaccination help in stopping COVID-19 in our country?

People need to understand that while lockdowns might slow down the widespread, they are not a permanent fix. Getting vaccinated will alleviate the risk and complications of contracting the disease. This is the only way to win over the virus for once and all. Currently, only one per cent of our population has been vaccinated. So, it’s important that even after getting vaccinated, you follow the basic norms and precautions to save yourself and the people around you. 

#StayHome #StaySafe

How To Manage When You Are Alone And COVID-19 Positive?

The sudden spike in the number of cases all over the country has left everyone in shock. The second wave of COVID-19 is putting the healthcare systems through a rigorous test. In such conditions, it’s best for each one of us to stay at home and wait for things to get better. 

However, many of us aren’t actually at ‘home’ with family right now. Many among us reside in different cities for work or education and live alone. The worst possible scenario in such a state comes when we find ourselves either COVID-19 positive or experience some major symptoms.

So, here are a few tips you should follow when you are alone: 

Stock up the essentials   

Have a look around through the eyes of a sick person. Analyze the essentials that you would require in case of sickness. 

Do not wait for your conditions to get worse. Stock up these essentials now, when you are fully fit to move. Easy-to-prepare healthy foods, drinks for regular hydration, supplies like Pulse Oximeter, thermometer, and the essential medications must be there in your house when you need them.   

Examine the symptoms  

Anyone needs to examine their symptoms first. Considering the fake rumours and messages being sent all over, you may not be familiar with the basic symptoms of COVID-19. The basic symptoms of COVID-19 include loss of smell and taste, headache, fever, cough, sore throat, muscle ache, diarrhoea and shortness of breath. In the mild and moderate state, many of these can be managed at home easily. Some older patients might only show fatigue and weakness, and yet they could be COVID-19 positive.

So, it’s important to notice the symptoms first and work your way accordingly. You might be feeling better right now, but there is a possibility that things might change in the second week of infection.

Seek out medical advice

If you have started experiencing the symptoms already, reach out to a doctor immediately. Seek advice, medications and the tests that you need to get done. In the case of older adults, make sure the doctor is aware of any medical history like cardiovascular disease, varying blood pressure, diabetes, etc

Since seeing a doctor physically would not be the best option right now, get in touch with someone who has a telemedicine facility. 

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Stay hydrated and take proper rest

Since fever and diarrhoea are two major classic symptoms of COVID-19, make sure you hydrate yourself regularly. To ensure minimal movement, always keep a bottle or two by the side of your bed. Feeling lightheaded, the decline in urine output, dry mouths are the major signs you are not hydrating yourself enough.

Apart from that, soups, tea with honey or ginger, fruits, and decoctions are the choices you should rely on to maintain your immunity. 

Track your vitals regularly

Monitoring your fever is the first thing you have to do. You need to keep your body temperature below 100 at all times. One countermeasure to do so is to take medicines prescribed by the doctor.

If you are feeling congestions or uneasiness in breathing, you can choose to take steam vapours or get yourself a decoction. You can also use an inhaler to ease your breathing too. You can also choose to take a shower with mild-warm water, but only when your temperature is below 100. Also, report the same to your doctor once in a while. 

Reach out to your close ones

Although you might be living alone for a long time, and think that you don’t need anyone for help. Yet this is the best time to get in touch with your close ones immediately. Set up video calls, chats, or voice calls to stay in touch with one or two of your trusted people. Also, check out those who might need your help. See what works the best for you and make it a part of your routine.

Don’t ignore your mental health

Most of us are quite careless towards our mental health. We don’t give it the attention it demands. So, in your time of sickness, be prepared, stay focused and stay away from any kind of negativity during this period. Check out the stuff that keeps you happy, be it memes, games, videos, hobbies etc., while following your routine strictly at the same time. 

So, these were the tips that you need to follow to manage yourself when you test COVID-19 positive and are alone at home. While mild and moderate symptoms can be easily managed at home, yet you should plan for the worst. Pack a bag with a spare toothbrush, medications, medical insurance, and earphones as you might need the same in case of emergency. It’s better to be prepared rather than just ignoring the basics for some other time. 

Apart from that, wishing you a healthy and happy recovery. #StaySafe

ALSO READ: Pregnancy In A Pandemic!

India’s Oxygen Status: What’s The Real Story?

The second COVID-19 wave has left the medical facilities in complete shambles. It has shown us that the established system is not enough to deal with the rising cases. With the rapid spike of COVID-19 cases all over the country, the netizens of the country have started questioning the government. 

On Wednesday, the number of cases rose to 3 lakhs, while the death counter was close to 2,000. Hospitals are overcrowded, beds aren’t available, patients are seen with cylinders on roads, and not much has been offered by the government yet. In such a situation, many are forced to leave their home to fetch the oxygen cylinders for the loved ones, who are battling COVID-19 right now. 

However, the only thing they were able to fetch was hopelessness. The country is undergoing a severe oxygen crisis currently, and the cylinders which were easily available at INR 100-150 can cost up to INR 800-900 today. 

The capacity and the demand

India produces 6900 metric ton of liquid oxygen daily. Out of the total produced, 5000 metric tonnes is being delivered to the hospitals and the industries combined. 

Due to the sudden rise in cases, the current supply to hospitals is at 2,500 metric tonne which is far less than the total produced. 

Then, how come we are facing a crisis? Something doesn’t add up, right? 

The logistics system in India

In a recent interview, health secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas shared that, “The issue is not of supply, it is of transportation and storage”. He added that the system in India was enough until now. However, with the exponential rise in demand, this needs to change. In the past 6 months, the demand for medical oxygen has risen by 3X. 

Medical oxygen in India takes roughly 3 days to reach from the manufacturer to the end-user. Once prepared, this oxygen is transported using tankers, which are currently 1200-1500 in number. Earlier, these were enough to meet the daily demand by the hospitals but now they are not. 

One of the biggest oxygen manufacturers in India is Inox. The manufacturer alone supplies 1400 tonnes of oxygen daily through its network of 550 transportation tankers. These tankers are directed to around 800 hospitals all over India. While these were enough to meet the daily demands comfortably, now the company believes they might fall in short. 

In such a situation, the central government has directed the states to use nitrogen tankers to deal with the urgent oxygen demand. Maharashtra government was able to get 8 tankers to add to the previous list of supply tankers.

Storage system

A COVID-19 patient in his critical condition requires up to 60 litres of oxygen per minute. This implies that a cylinder can last up to an hour max, depending upon the oxygen being given to the patient.

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Considering this, any hospital would require a good amount of storage capacity. However, such facilities are not present in rural areas, as there was never a need for any. Different states are experimenting with different methods, from the installation of oxygen tanks to buying jumbo cylinders. 

Some states have even started the construction of oxygen generation plants. While this might benefit us in the future, the present is yet to be addressed. 

Rise in prices due to COVID-19

An oxygen cylinder used to cost between INR 100 to INR 150. To refill the same, you had to pay INR 1.5 to 2 per cubic metre. Post pandemic, the price of a cylinder has risen to INR 800. Moreover, the refill costs you INR 10-15 per cubic metre. 

Due to the fear of getting COVID-19, people are stocking up cylinders at home. Apart from that, the rise in logistics prices has contributed to the cylinder price too. Private hospitals are charging INR 1500-3000 for a patient per day. However, the actual cost is around INR 300-400 per cylinder.

Considering all this, the government of India has advised hospitals to monitor the oxygen levels of patients daily. The hospitals are also advised to provide oxygen support to only those whose saturated oxygen levels are below 94. Apart from that, the government has also banned the sale of oxygen to industries, especially those who rely on furnaces for production. Recently, the Indian Railways also announced the launch of “Oxygen Express”, which will help in carrying oxygen cylinders all over the country for quick delivery.

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ALSO READ: COVID-19 Tips: Pregnancy In A Pandemic!

COVID-19 Tips: Pregnancy In A Pandemic!

Pregnancy is one of the most complicated things in a woman’s life. With COVID-19 at hand, it has become even a bigger challenge. In such a situation, people are looking for answers to their questions. In return, most of them are getting fake news or incomplete information. Pregnancy in a pandemic is something you need to be really cautious about!

So, what are the dos and don’ts for a pregnant woman during COVID-19? Here we are going to answer some major questions regarding pregnancy in a pandemic.

Is the pregnancy in a pandemic any different from the regular pregnancy?

In the beginning, when there wasn’t enough information available regarding COVID-19, it was obvious to believe that the virus comes with an increased risk for pregnant women. As time passed and information came from the official and verified sources, various data suggested pregnant women are definitely at risk from COVID-19. The conditions might become worse if you are experiencing severe illness.

Should visitors be allowed to see the mother during delivery?

Over the past year, we have learnt the different ways we can alleviate the virus from spreading. People were not allowed to meet the mother at different maternal care centres earlier, but now most of them have slacked up some precautions. With mask and basic social distancing norms, maternal care centres are now allowing 2-3 visitors at a time to accompany the women in labour.

How prenatal care in a pandemic is different from the regular one?

Prenatal care in a pandemic is nothing different from the regular one. It is more or less the same. Moreover, you are advised to have virtual visits as much as you can during your labour period. It is highly effective, safe, and reduces the chances for the mother catching the virus

Should a newborn be introduced to the members outside the family? If yes, how?

It all depends on the parents how they want to address this situation. They need to understand the risk at hand, and keeping that in mind, they should plan the methods they should go for. 

The best way to introduce the newborn is via video calling. The other method that you can adopt is by practising basic distance while introducing the baby. This, in turn, will weaken the chances of the baby getting affected. 

Why are pregnant women not a part of clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccination programme?

Any government wants to protect their people at any cost. Certain things are still unclear regarding the vaccine and how it affects pregnant women and her kid. To protect you from the same uncertainty, pregnant women have been excluded from the first clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

You are advised to follow the basic precautions until then, like using a mask, washing hands, and physical distancing.    

Does that imply that the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous for pregnant women?

No, not at all. It is just a precaution since we don’t have enough data that can explain to us the effects that a pregnant woman is going to witness. As soon as the clinical trials for pregnant women start, the situation will become clearer to us. In the end, vaccination for pregnant and non-pregnant women isn’t going to be any different. They are both going to get the same benefits. 

How long do we have to wait for the clinical data for pregnant women?

Based on the data we got from the first clinical program, there is definitely some time for that. You don’t actually have to wait for the clinical data; also, people can decide it for themselves once the observational data is released. 

Is there any information for the vaccination of lactating mothers? Can they build up their child’s immunity with breast milk?

There is not enough data that stops lactating women from getting vaccinated. Moreover, the vaccination doesn’t harm milk production in any way. There might be a chance that a mother may contribute to the immunity of her child. This has worked for many and might work the same way for you too. So far, the data doesn’t suggest how the vaccination is going to affect a lactating mother. 

Are vaccinated patients in labour required to wear a mask at all times?

Any maternal care would suggest you keep wearing masks at all times. We have seen different mutations of the COVID-19 virus all over the world, and we don’t know how they are going to affect you yet. In such conditions, a patient in labour should “try” to wear a mask as much as she can. There can be some relaxation since pregnancy can be a challenging task. However, you should understand that basic precautions are necessary.

#StaySafe #StayHome

ALSO READ: What Should I Do If One Of My Family Members Becomes COVID-19 Positive?

COVID-19 Tips: What Should I Do If One Of My Family Members Becomes COVID-19 Positive?

With the country making a new record tally in the increasing number of COVID-19 cases every day, awareness and 100% precaution has become mandatory.

Every second household you’d know is suffering from coronavirus and no matter how much you try, there are chances that you or your family members could also get affected by it.

Here’s what you should do if one of your family members becomes COVID-19 positive!

Practice social distancing at home:

It is recommended to maintain social distancing at home in such cases. The COVID-19 patient is recommended to isolate him/ herself from the rest of the family.

A complete quarantine is advisable for the patient. From a separate room to a separate bathroom, if available, the COVID-19 patient must maintain zero contact with others.

Choose a room to follow quarantine:

The COVID-19 patient cannot just stay in any room. The room should be far from elders and children of the family and it should be well ventilated.

Even in the rest of your home, there should be enough flow of fresh air. The family members should wear a mask every time they are in contact with the patient or sharing a common space with them.

Use technology to communicate:

Try to stay away from the patient as much as possible, communicate via texts, calls or video chats. 

Keep a track of the patient’s help, his/ her heart rate and body temperature. Keep a tap of the ongoing condition — and if it improves or deteriorates.

Use separate products and daily essentials:

Apart from using a separate room and bathroom, it is also recommended to use separate household items and daily essentials like utensils, drinking glasses/ water bottles, cups/ dishes/ bowls, towels, bedcovers, etc.

Any item that cannot be disposed of immediately should be handled and shared with disposable gloves and washed with hot water and medicated soap. If there aren’t any gloves available in the house, wash your hands for 20 seconds every time you touch any item.

While disposing of any trash, use disposable gloves and wash your hands immediately after that.

Even the patient’s clothes should be washed separately in high-temperature water.

Avoid making contacts with pets:

The COVID-19 patient is recommended to make zero contact with any pet in the house. Family members who are coming in contact with the patient are also advised to wash their hands/ use sanitisers before touching their pets.

Monitor their health and symptoms:

You should keep a constant check on the patient’s health and symptoms. Stay in the loop with your concerned doctor and be prepared for any emergency.

While you keep a tap of their health, you must also keep a check on yourself and the rest of the family. 

Have proper food:

The COVID-19 patient should eat less spicy and healthy food. Include a lot of fruits, nuts and super seeds in their diet.

Also, ensure that the person stays hydrated throughout the day.

When to call for medical help?

If you notice any of the following symptoms on the COVID-19 patient, consider calling for immediate help:

  1. Bluish face or lips
  2. Inability to rouse
  3. Constant unavoidable pain in the chest
  4. Difficulty in breathing
  5. Any other kind of symptoms that you feel could be a warning sign

Some of the symptoms which a COVID-19 patient may or may not show are:

  1. Nausea/ vomiting
  2. Chills and fatigue
  3. Muscle and body pain
  4. Sore throat
  5. headache
  6. Runny nose/ cold
  7. Diarrhoea
  8. Congestion
  9. Other diseases like pneumonia and bronchitis

COVID-19 is real and it is not going to go so soon!

Although there will be a relief after the vaccination drive gets complete — it is still recommended to practice all the norms and safety precautions when any of your family members becomes COVID-19 positive.

  1. DO NOT come in direct contact with any of the COVID-19 patients.
  2. Always use a hand sanitiser with at least 60% of alcohol.
  3. Maintain proper hygiene and social distancing.
  4. Always wear a mask.
  5. Use disposable gloves.
  6. Keep a constant check on your’s and your loved ones’ health.

#StaySafe #StayHome

ALSO READ: Pregnancy In A Pandemic – What Are The Do’s & Don’ts?

Pandemic 2.0: List Of Resources Helping Migrant Workers During COVID-19!

Several states have started imposing lockdown again and — and to avoid any travel restrictions, a lot of migrant workers are going back to their hometown. According to the district administration of Ghaziabad, 77,000 migrant workers were sent home in over 1,500 buses on Apr 20, 2021.

Unfortunately, Ghaziabad is not the only city witnessing a mass exodus of migrant workers right now. People all over from Delhi, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, etc. are going back to their homeland — to avoid what they faced back in 2020. 

Like in 2020, several individuals and communities have come forward helping migrant workers to ensure safe travel for them.

NextBigWhat decided to bring you everything in one place. Following are some of the resources — active & verified — which are helping migrant workers, the less privileged section and people in need.

Organizations working towards supplying daily essentials and help

1. Born to Win

This Chennai based foundation started “Feed the needy” mission for COVID-19 relief — it provides food, ration and essential commodities to old-age homes, orphanages, migrant workers, rural areas, and the homeless.

Operational area: Chennai
E-mail: b2wborntowin@gmail.com 
Website: www.b2wfoundation.org 

2. Indian Centre for Development & Rights (ICFDR)

ICFDR distributes essential ration kits that can last for about 30 days to needy people. They have already distributed 2500+ ration kits and impacted over 3000 people.

Operational areas: Delhi, Bareilly, Badaun, Dehradun, Chennai, Salem, Itanagar, Pune, Jaipur and Lucknow
E-mail: reachus@icfdr.org 
Website: www.icfdr.org 

3. For Daily Wagers

It acts as a platform to connect a donor with a beneficiary in need to send essential items to them. The donor is supposed to place an order of groceries through a third party online platform and get it delivered at the provided address. The team of volunteers stays in touch with both the beneficiary and the donor throughout the process to ensure the delivery reaches every beneficiary assigned by the team. 

Operational areas: Delhi & Mumbai
Contact Person: Rehan Gupta
Contact Number: +91 9967135518
Website: www.fordailywagers.com 

4. SOUL

SOUL is a non-profit Charitable trust, working on feeding daily labours in/ around Kolkata and Sundarban in West Bengal. Under the program “LunchBox For Hungers”, they have distributed free lunchboxes along with evening meals to tribal people of Sundarban and daily wage earners in Kolkata and outskirts.

Operational areas: Sundarban, Kolkata and Jhargram in West Bengal
Contact Person: Subhankar Banerjee
Contact Number: 9836253999
Website: www.teamsoul.org

5. Humanity First

It helps the needy and underprivileged in several parts of the country. So, far, their team has helped with donating grocery items, masks, sanitizers, gloves and drinking water etc.

Operational areas: Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, AP, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Coimbatore, Orissa, Kolkata, Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, UP and Kashmir
Contact Person: Shameem Ahmad
Contact Number: 9988991775
E-mail: humanityfirstind@gmail.com 

6. Rasoi on Wheels

A mobile kitchen service that is providing packed meal boxes to the less privileged section of our society. For the COVID-19 crisis, it is working closely with groups and organizations to provide cooked meals and dry rations to daily wage labourers in Delhi-NCR.

Operational area: Delhi
Contact Person: Atul Kapur
Contact Number: 9811015420
Website: www.rasoionwheels.com

Organizations working towards skill development and creating opportunities

7. PanIIT

It is a group of all IITs’ alumni that works towards offering skill development programmes to vulnerable migrant labour. It aims to enhance the incomes and livelihoods of the undeserved.

Website: www.paniit.org 

8. Aajeevika Bureau

This Udaipur based not-for-profit provides job opportunities to the rural poor; especially migrant workers who move to cities in search of employment. The daily wage and migrant workers are connected with job providers and issued with an identity card so that they have access to all government schemes and initiatives.

Website: www.aajeevika.org 

9. Khalsa Aid

The UK-based humanitarian relief organisation is working around the clock to distribute langar and ration kits among the needy, migrant and sanitation workers. In 2020, close to 32,000 Khalsa Aid volunteers were on the ground, working across the country

Website: www.khalsaaid.org

MAJOR HELPLINES:

Andhra Pradesh: 9177611110
Assam: 8527612266/ 9622989797
Bihar: 9431815833
Odisha: 9437210000
Uttar Pradesh: 9871115034/ 9437210000
West Bengal: 9830154101

For more details, visit: www.dailywageworker.com/migrant-helplines

PS: We’ll keep updating this list with the latest data and resources. Let us know if you want us to add something in particular that’s helping migrant workers. #StaySafe #MakeAnImpact #TowardsABetterWorld 

ALSO READ: Pandemic 2.0: List Of Coronavirus Resources You Need To Know About!

Pandemic 2.0: List Of Coronavirus Resources You Need To Know About!

Coronavirus 2.0 is at our doorstep — much stronger and deadly than last time. And while the government is trying to do every possible thing to curb it off (well, let’s assume), there are fallback, and people are losing their lives.

To fight this at a societal level, several individuals, communities, and nonprofits have come forward to help and assist in almost everything. Unfortunately, very few people are aware of these initiatives.

NextBigWhat decided to bring you everything in one place. Following are some of the coronavirus resources — active & verified — which you may refer to and share with those in need.

For COVID-19 bed availability details:

  • Near Terminal 1, Next to Raksha Sampada Bhavan.

The Corona patient needs to carry his/ her Aadhar Card & Positive RTPCR report for admission. The officers incharge of this facility are Maj Gen Bhatia, +919654895961 & Col Gulshan Saini, +91 99686 56990. Everything is FREE.

For all the updated information of COVID-19:

These websites have information about fever clinics, oxygen cylinders, COVID hospital’s, ambulance services, bed availability, guidelines, govt orders, notifications and COVID-19 burials. 

Consolidated list of plasma resources for those in need in India:

COVID-19 plasma donor – recipient help group

1) KAB Welfare Foundation : 9810063261
https://www.facebook.com/kamlaarorablessings/

2) NDTV plasma donation initiative
Email: feedback@ndtv.com
WhatsApp : 9910668811

3) Panthak Saanjh Initiative
Arranging donors for the patients at the time of emergency
Sunny Khera: +91-9999992492
Gurbrinder Singh: +91-9958525752

4) All India group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/556579325240584/?ref=share

Coronavirus resources: for medical and plasma requirements:

https://forms.gle/r4qBphwvSjqWrU9J9

For becoming a potential plasma donor:

https://forms.gle/3k77WEBxeJf4CTCw9

For sanitized and well-equipped ambulances with ventilators, within 15 to 20 minutes across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Bengaluru:

https://www.gethelpnow.in/ [88 99 88 99 52]

Oxygen & Medicine Availability – City Wise:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQLa5IUS7JfyoxIOWY53QWKgwFKko542K6lJpWkEq7oZRM79Y1H92YZNUZTOrFhWK2n3P6admdwU8YH/pub

List of NGOs providing relief during COVID-19 across India:

Anyone requiring injection Remdesivir can get @ Rs 899/- as against Rs.4000/- charged by medical shops. 

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra Borivali West

Address:
Shop No 4, Bethlehem Apartments
Near Domino’s and Bhagwati Hospital
SVP Road, Borivali West
Mumbai – 400103

Store Timings:
9:30 AM to 9:00 PM (All days open) 
Phone and WhatsApp Number – 9969308613
Direct WhatsApp link – http://wa.me/919969308613
Landline Number – 022-28943789
Contact Person – Vijay Gosar

Documents required:
1) Patient’s Aadhar card
2) COVID-19 positive report
3) ORIGINAL Doctors prescription 
4) Aadhar card of person taking medicine

PS: We’ll keep updating this list with the latest data and resources. Let us know if you want us to add something in particular. #StaySafe #StayHome