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1929 Calls Cross 50 K Mark

Bhubaneswar: Proving its key role in helping better COVID management within the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) limits, the 1929 24X7 Call Centre has crossed an important milestone as both the outbound and inbound calls surpassed the 50K mark by May 20.

While the call centre handled 51,351 incoming calls from the COVID affected and related persons, the call centre executives made 50,414 calls to home isolation patients in order to keep track of their health status.

Similarly, the call centre executives also helped 14,127 callers in having doctor’s consultation as many were seeking medical advice from the team of 19 doctors, who are available in different groups in three different shifts.

Apart from the doctors, 48 executives are working in three shifts in different groups to handle both the incoming and outgoing calls at the facility, which functions at the Bhubaneswar Operations Centre of the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited’s office in BMC-Bhawani Mall, Saheed Nagar. While the first shift of the centre starts at 6 am and goes up to 2 pm, the second shift is scheduled between 2 pm and 10 pm and the third one between 10 pm and 6 am of the next morning.

The calls are managed through 35 work stations. While 15 are used for receiving incoming calls and 5 for outgoing ones, 8 are used by doctors to give consultation. In addition to this, 4 workstations have been specifically arranged to take the registration bookings for vaccination and testing of 60+ age groups. Under this service a senior citizen can pre-book an appointment for a doorstep testing or pick-up and drop vaccination centre near their localities.

BMC Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Singh said “steps are on in order to ensure minimal call drops and the call centre will try to help all who are calling 1929 for help.’’

The 1929 24X7 Call Centre, which started functioning from March 25 this year when the Corona graph was not so alarming, had only two work stations then, one for incoming and another for outgoing. However, with the increase in the frequency of calls, the number of work stations got increased with periodic review of the demand and call frequency rates.

The 1929 24X7 Call Centre executives handle various types of incoming calls i.e. requests for hospital shifting, visits of rapid response teams (RRTs) to home isolation patients, getting discharge certificates after home isolation period is over, information on testing, vaccination, death certificates, paid home isolation facilities, travel related protocols, sanitzation of home, workplaces and areas and also cremation related queries.

Under outgoing calls, the majority are directed to home isolation patients every alternate day for a week. However, from May 18 the call centre has started calling Red Flag patients under three administrative zones of the civic body in order to keep a track on their health status. Recently, BMC has categorized patients under home isolation into two types. While the home isolation patients with no or mild symptoms of COVID are called Green Flag cases, the moderately-affected ones are termed as Red Flag patients. Each zone under BMC sends the Red Flag list daily to 1929 Call Centre.

In order to encourage the doctors and the call center executives in having a better work environment, the 1929 24X7 Call Centre has started having a refreshment zone and resting facility inside the BSCL office