What began as a local outbreak of influenza type attack on a group of people reported first on December 31, 2019, in Wuhan, China, has affected 82,000 people and taken the lives of 2800+ people, spread across 35 countries. Every day the numbers are on the rise. With every continent, except Antarctica, affected and more cases in Europe and the Middle East, World Health Organization which had declared it a global health emergency is planning to declare it as a pandemic. For the first time since its outbreak, there were more cases reported from outside China, signifying the growing global impact.
In order to assist those who are undergoing stress because of Corona Virus crisis, an online Help Desk was launched at Catholic Health Association of India, Directorate, Hyderabad on 26th February. This platform, coronacare.life was launched by Sr. Dr. Victoria JMJ, President of CHAI, in the presence of the CHAI Board Members and staff.
Billion Lives, a social impact tech company based in Bangalore, India, headed by Mr. John Santhosh, developed the necessary platform and tech solutions for coronacare.life. People can come to the site for live chats, audio and video calls, apart from communicating through emails. The site www.coronacare.life is active and accessible. There are about 30 professionals from social work and psychology background ready to take calls and deal with fears and anxieties about coronavirus crisis. Doctors are ready to answer medical queries.
Project Vision, a Claretian social mission, based also in Bangalore coordinated with various national networks in India to bring together the required professionals who were willing to provide voluntary services. Sister Doctors’ Forum of India (SDFI) and Kerala Association of Professional Social Workers (KAPS) provided the required expert volunteers. Rajagiri Hospital specialists Dr Jacob and Dr Neethu along with Dr Sally John from MGIMS, Wardha, Maharashtra, trained the volunteers. All this background work was coordinated within ten days’ time, as Billion Lives worked on developing the platform.
Fr Jojo CMF, working in Claretian Publications in Macau, China, organized volunteers who could speak Chinese, both Mandarin and Cantonese. Project Vision managed to get volunteers who could communicate in German, French, Spanish and Italian, along with most languages in India. More partners and volunteers are expended to join the group. This platform can also be used for other emergencies if and when required. We thank Fr George Kannanthanam, Secretary of CHAI for spearheading this initiative.
Rev. Dr. Mathew Abraham C.Ss.R, MD,
Director-General, Catholic Health Association of India